October 26, 2020

The Curious Case of Costa Rica

All of us in travel are working through a fundamental question, what does it take to get travelers traveling again. Safety is clearly a priority but so is convenience. And this tug-of-war plays out all over the world with Croatia and the Maldives opening initially without any Covid-19 testing requirements on to change direction in a few days (Croatia) or a few weeks (the Maldives) to now require proof of a negative PCR test before entry.

These are understandable concerns and those responsible are listening to their visitors, looking at the data and weighing all their options. It's smart business.

Then there is the case of Costa Rica. They reopened their borders to international travel on August 1 with a plan to slowly (and it appears, systematically) allow travelers to visit. American's from a handful of U.S. states with a low positivity rate were permitted entry initially. Then visitors from Texas, Florida, and Georgia were allowed entry as of October 15 which I suspect may have been simply due to the very large airports that each of those states has, and the numbers of residence who could visit Costa Rica. In other words, pragmatism seemed to be at play.

And then late last week Costa Rica announced that as of today, October 26, they were eliminating the PCR test requirement altogether for all visitors. They expressed confidence in their social distancing and mask requirements and felt the time was right to make a bold gesture to attract tourists.

And so it begins, a tug-of-war between hassle and convenience, between what some might argue is a safer journey than not, between capitalism and the fatigue brought on by this never-ending pandemic. I don't judge, I just observe. Let's see if this works out. The no-test-required approach has certainly paid off handsomely for Mexico.

Please check out DragonSlayer, it will become your new best friend for travel updates and insights. There are other countries taking the bold step of removing their Covid-19 testing requirements, we’ve captured them in our platform.