Covid-19 Traveler Information
General information about the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-COV-2.
What is Covid-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. The WHO first learned of the existence of this new virus on December 31, 2019, when it was informed of a group of cases of "viral pneumonia" that had been declared in Wuhan (People's Republic of China).
What type of COVID-19 test is carried out in Costa Rica for the return of tourists to their countries of origin?
Two types of tests are carried out in Costa Rica: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the antigen test, recently approved by the health authorities, which will be made available to travelers in the coming weeks. .
What are the authorized places to perform COVID-19 tests?
The tests can be carried out by laboratories authorized by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica. The San José Laboratory is authorized by the Ministry of Health and also offers service at home and in some hotels with prior coordination. Only technical personnel from authorized laboratories can take the samples.
How long will it take for the laboratory to deliver the results of the tests?
In the case of PCR tests, authorized laboratories will take a maximum of 48 hours to deliver the results to the person concerned. The results of the antigen tests are delivered a couple of hours after the sample is analyzed.
In what format will the laboratories deliver the results of the tests?
The result will be sent to the email provided by the passenger. The latter can present it in print or in digital format to the airline.
Who verifies a negative test result before boarding the plane?
The airline is responsible for reviewing the documentation and deciding whether or not you can travel.
What is the difference between the COVID-19 test by PCR and antigen?
*RT-PCR:* Detect the presence of genetic material (RNA) of the virus SARS-CoV-2
This is the most reliable test and capable of detecting the virus in the initial phases; The response time is 24 hours due to the procedure that is carried out, which analyzes 3 genes: E, RdRp and N.
It should be done approximately 4-5 days after having contact with a positive person or when you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Response time 24 hours
Promotional price 45,000 colones
*ANTIGEN:* qualitative test, This type of test is a rapid test that detects antigens from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. , proteins found on the surface of the virus.
It is regularly used for travel, but it can also be done by discarding, although the best test to rule it out is PCR. It depends on the viral load that the patient has at the time the test is performed.
It is recommended to perform the test in symptomatic patients or in asymptomatic patients with positive contact 5 days after contact.
Negative results from the antigen test cannot be used to rule out a suspected case, but must be confirmed by a PCR test, since false negatives can occur.
Response time 2 hours
Price 25,000 colones
Sources: Costa Rican Tourism Institute
Rapid Antigen Test
Exclusively for asymptomatic people
Time for results: 2 hours
Covid-19 PCR test
Results time: 24 hours
Most common symptoms
IMPORTANT: If you have severe symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. If you have questions, contact your doctor or, in effect, you can call the coronavirus hotline (dial 1322) for more information or questions about Covid-19.