Covid Info

OTS Response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated October 27, 2020

The Organization for Tropical Studies is happy to share our response regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus). We regularly monitor the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory and the Ministerio de Salud de Costa Rica (Costa Rica Ministry of Health) websites, among others, for the latest updates on issues of concern.

Costa Rica has opened its borders to international travel from many countries.

The following countries are approved as of today:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Cypriot Republic
  • Czech Republic
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • French Republic
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • Hellenic Republic (Greece)
  • Ireland
  • Italian Republic
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kingdom of Belgium
  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Kingdom of Norway
  • Kingdom of Spain
  • Kingdom of Sweden
  • Kingdom of Thailand
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Portuguese Republic
  • Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Principality of Monaco
  • Republic of Austria
  • Republic of Bulgaria
  • Republic of China
  • Republic of Croatia
  • Republic of Estonia
  • Republic of Finland
  • Republic of Hungary
  • Republic of Iceland
  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of Latvia
  • Republic of Lithuania
  • Republic of Malta
  • Republic of Poland
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Republic of Singapore
  • Republic of Slovenia
  • Republic of Uruguay
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
  • Swiss Confederation
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States (certain states only; see list below)
  • Vatican State

Visitors from the United States are allowed entry as follows:

  • On September 1, visitors were admitted from New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
  • On September 15, residents of Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Michigan, and Rhode Island were allowed entry.
  • On October 1, residents of California and Ohio were able to enter Costa Rica.
  • On October 15, visitors from Florida, Georgia, and Texas will be admitted.
  • On November 1, the country will open its borders to residents and citizens of all U.S. states.

Passengers from the United States must prove their residency in one of the approved states using their driver’s license (not required for minors).  Proof of state residency is not required after November 1.

All visitors must complete a digital epidemiological health pass, acquire a travel-insurance plan covering Covid-19 that has been approved by the General Superintendence of Insurance, and complete an online health form. International insurance policies must show effectiveness of the policy for the duration of the visit to Costa Rica, guaranteed coverage of medical expenses (minimum of USD$50,000) due to COVID-19, and include minimum coverage of USD$2,000 for lodging expenses if Covid-19 is contracted (see National Insurance Institute or Sagicor). Effective October 26, visitors arriving to Costa Rica will no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and tourists are not required to quarantine upon entering Costa Rica. Please note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Costa Rica due to COVID-19.

In South Africa, the borders remain closed to international travelers for the foreseeable future.  We will update this site when an entry date is announced.

OTS will continue to monitor government websites for changes to travel advisory levels for all countries in which we have operations.

If you have questions, please contact us by email.

Visiting our stations:

The procedures for visiting our Costa Rica stations (i.e. changes in admission procedures, social distancing, food service, required personal protective equipment, etc.) are available online, both in English and in Spanish.  Please review this information prior to your arrival.

Guidance for virus prevention:

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC and other government health agencies recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Maintain a physical distance between yourself and other people of at least six feet.
  • Stay home except for essential needs.
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face covering.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.

For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.