With a total of 5,836 confirmed cases of Covid-19 through July 8th and 25 deaths related to this virus, the number of cases continues to spike. The Costa Rican Government made new announcements in regards to the restart of the school year, reopening of borders and Tourists Visa Extensions.
The Ministry of Education informed that schools won’t reopen for class until at least September, which means students will have to continue their school year through virtual modality in hopes that by September the situation with the pandemic allows the gradual reopening of schools.
“For as long as the national emergency sanitary condition persists, the Ministry of Education will consider the position of the families, on whether or not to send their children back to school (once the decision is made to reopen); and if, due to health concerns families decide not to send their kids to school they will have the option to not do so and we will provide the resources so they can continue with their virtual education modality”, explained Guiselle Cruz, Minister of Education.
This decision applies for public and private schools equally.
When it comes to the reopening of borders, the government hopes to reopen the international Airports on August 1st. Minister of Health, Daniel Salas stated that as of August 1, foreigners from countries that have “controlled the spread of the coronavirus” will be allowed to enter Costa Rica. The Minister did not yet state which countries would be included among this list but stated an announcement would be forthcoming.
President Carlos Alvarado also clarified that only international airports are scheduled to open on August 1st, and that this date could be moved once again depending on how the pandemic continues to evolve in the country; however, ground borders will remain closed until further notice.
When it comes to tourists that entered the country when the borders closed, tourist stays in Costa Rica are normally limited to 90 days, but under the current COVID border restrictions, any foreigner who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019, for tourism purposes has been granted an extension of stay until November 18, 2020. Driving privileges for tourists have also been extended until August 18th
When it comes to immigration new residency applications are currently on hold, but immigration is continuing to work on active applications. Document validity has been extended to Sept 18th. If your planning a move to Costa Rica and are considering immigration we would highly suggest getting all of your documents ready for immigrations re opening as it will be certainly be a stampede of people.