A complete guide to ensure a safe, joyful, and emotional wedding day for you and your guests
Last year was a total whirlwind for all of us, but especially to the excited couples who were dreaming of their special day. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic many weddings had to be postponed, couples felt uncertain not knowing what would happen with their plans, and the wedding industry experienced new challenges.
Costa Rica, thanks to its gorgeous scenery, pleasant weather, friendly and relaxed locals has become a desirable location to host magical weddings. In November 2020, Costa Rica opened back its borders for tourism and the joy of weddings returned.
As a destination wedding photographer, I have gathered valuable information from different sources, including my personal experience, about Covid-19 weddings, requirements, and policies in Costa Rica to help you plan and enjoy your memorable day. Keep in mind that these requirements may constantly change depending on the country’s situation. Please take this information as a guideline, however, you will need to keep up to date with the constantly changing rules to make sure you can start planning with certainty.
(This guide is written based on the current rules on June 3rd, 2021)
Costa Rica Entry Requirements
Who Can Travel to Costa Rica?
Everyone. Borders are open for tourists all around the world:
- By air via international private or commercial flights landing in Juan Santamaría International Airport or Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport.
- Via land borders. Tourists can enter the country via two land borders, from Nicaragua to the north or Panama to the south.
- Marine entry by boats (yachts or sailboats) exclusively at the marinas of Golfito, Los Sueños, Pez Vela, Banana Bar, and Papagayo.
You are not required to present a negative coronavirus test to enter or exit the country. However, (depending on your home country and its requirements), you may need to present a negative test when returning home.
Here is a list of authorized testing labs across Costa Rica to perform both a PCR or Antigen coronavirus test. (Keep in mind that antigen tests may not be accepted for all countries).
Hospital Metropolitano, Quepos
Laboratorios Echandi – Liberia Airport (LIR)
Hospital Metropolitano Cabo Velas
Hospital Metropolitano Liberia
Huacas – Beachside Clinic
Laboratorio Clínico Hospital San Rafael Arcángel
Laboratorios Echandi Ciudad Quesada
Laboratorios San José
Laboratorios San José
Laboratorios Echandi – Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
Laboratorios San José
Hospital La Católica
Entry Requirement and Health Travel Insurance
Even though there is no test or quarantine required to enter Costa Rica, you need to provide health insurance for the total duration of your stay and fill out a health pass form before entering. There is no exemption even if you are already vaccinated. This policy must cover medical and accommodation expenses in case you get Covid-19.
You may obtain an international health insurance policy that meets the following requirements
- Valid for your entire stay in Costa Rica
- $50,000 coverage for medical expenses, including Covid-19
- $2,000 accommodation expenses in case of a 14-day quarantine
You can use any of these national companies that have been pre-approved by the Costa Rican government.
- INS – https://micrositios.ins-cr.com/seguroviajero/
- Sagicor – https://www.sagicor.cr/
- BlueCross BlueShield – https://bluecrossblueshieldcr.com/landing
*Tip: Trawick International has one of the most cost-friendly travel insurance policies that meet Costa Rica´s requirements and is the most popular. Out of their three options, you can select the best one for you depending on your budget and needs.
For more information visit their website: https://www.trawickinternational.com/travel-insurance-plans/costa-rica-required-travel-insurance
Access https://salud.go.cr and complete the Health Pass online 72 hours before your departure. The form must be filled out per each person including children.
Once finished filling out the form and after accepting the terms and conditions the website will provide a QR code you can show upon arrival.
Costa Rica with its amazing tropical beaches, beautiful sunsets, astonishing views of rainforest, waterfalls, and mesmerizing volcanoes is an ideal place to host your destination wedding. Thanks to the necessary protocols implemented by the health authorities you can ensure your guest’s safety while enjoying your special day.
Whether you imagine a romantic photoshoot with an amazing sunset, magnificent scenery of a waterfall, or an impressive volcano backdrop Costa Rica offers incredible outdoor locations. National parks and beaches remain open and make it easy to practice social distancing and have a safe Covid-19 wedding.
With the pandemic, elopements and micro weddings have become popular options to provide an intimate gathering surrounded by closest friends and family. This allows the couple to enjoy a more personal, intimate celebration, where they have unforgettable moments.
Covid-19 Weddings Costa Rica – Tips & Recommendations
- Due to unexpected circumstances, you can explore other options like live streaming or video conference calls to celebrate and involve those who can not attend physically.
- Get creative with your wedding favors. Create a wedding favor station where your guests can help themselves at the beginning of the event. These favors can include hand sanitizers, personalized facial masks, wet wipes, and even a personalized glass.
- Help your guests maintain the social bubble with spaced-out seating arrangements by reducing the number of seats per table.
- If you enjoy dancing and do not want to miss out on some great music, you can have an extended cocktail hour where your guests can experience new drinks while dancing in their own space.
- You can opt-out of the normal buffet to avoid long lines of people together and replace it with having staff serving food at the tables.
- Having hand sanitizer on every table, entrance, and exit reminds your guests and encourages them to use it.
I hope this guide on Covid-19 weddings & requirements in Costa Rica helped ease up your mind to enjoy the spectacular day awaiting ahead.
If you have any questions let me know in the comment section below. I would be more than happy to help you out!
Searching for the right location in Costa Rica for your wedding day? Check out my previous article.
*Five of the best locations to elope in Costa Rica. 2021
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