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The idea has been pitched for a house swap during the Thanksgiving holiday in Costa Rica for the family. I've looked up the travel restrictions currently in place here, and from what I understand, the gist is that as of November, tourists that are residents of all 50 states are permitted to enter the country provided they have a negative COVID test that was taken up to 72 hours prior to getting on the plane. I've been a bit of a lurker on this SE for a little while, though, and I've seen cases where there may be other restrictions and considerations in place that the first official place you look might not have.

Some of my family are residents of New York and others are residents of Utah. I also have a family member in California, but it is not yet clear if they will be joining us. Are there things to be aware of that I might have missed from other sources or misunderstood from the embassy page?

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    I’m not sure why people have so much difficulty understanding the concept of a global pandemic where the only good option is to stay where you are to avoid spreading the thing all over the place even more, avoid being at risk of being stranded in a foreign country, avoid catching the d*mn thing? If you don’t need to travel, don’t. People from multiple different locations coming together and then going back to their original locations (or trying to) is the worst possible idea one could have in these times. – jcaron Oct 18 at 21:12
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    @jcaron I am aware of the global pandemic situation, and frankly, part of me is secretly hoping that there is some restriction that would prevent us from going at all as that would be a point that my mom (who is particularly stubborn and set on us doing something for the holiday) can't argue against. That being said, this is SE, not Reddit, so I would appreciate it if I could get an answer to the question asked (with a personal anecdote regarding the pandemic following if the answerer felt it necessary) rather than getting downvoted to oblivion by people with strong opinions on the subject. – Abion47 Oct 18 at 21:23
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    Upvoted, this is a travel site. Contact authorities if disagreeing with COVID policies. travel.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6740/1810 – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 18 at 21:24
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    @jcaron One objective of countries opening back up is to allow tourism, surely? Your point about it being better to stay put is valid, but if the trip is allowed within the Covid measures of both the origin and destination, then it’s up to the individual to decide if they wish to take the risk – Traveller Oct 19 at 6:52
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    @Abion47: If you want some advice on how to convince your mother that this is a bad idea, I'd encourage you to post a related question over on Interpersonal Skills Stackexchange. – Michael Seifert Oct 20 at 11:39
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Are there things to be aware of that I might have missed from other sources or misunderstood from the embassy page?

Yes, but what you missed is quite minor and likely doesn't affect you (ban on some flight paths, unclear if they'll still be present in November). See bold points below from https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php (-> Costa Rica):

Costa Rica Published 15.10.2020

  1. Passengers are not allowed to enter.
  • This does not apply to:
  • nationals and residents of Costa Rica;
  • passengers who do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica when traveling as tourist if in the past 14 days they have not been to any other country than Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, China (People's Rep.), Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, United Kingdom and Vatican City (Holy See) [enjoy the triple negation! good way to inform travelers];
  • residents of the following states of the United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C. and Wyoming;
  • family members, who do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica, if traveling as tourist and who are:
  • spouses of nationals or residents of Costa Rica; or
  • parents of minors who are nationals or residents of Costa Rica; or
  • children and siblings, who are minors or with disabilities, of nationals or residents of Costa Rica.
  1. Flights to Costa Rica are suspended.
  • This does not apply to:
  • flights arriving from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (People's Rep.), Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, United Kingdom or Vatican City (Holy See);
  • flights arriving from the following states of the United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C. and Wyoming; [check with Costa Rica embassy + airlines whether it'll change on November 1]
  • repatriation flights.
  1. Passengers traveling as tourists must have a medical insurance to pay for Coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment costs. The insurance must be issued by a company in Costa Rica or approved by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism.
  2. Passengers traveling as tourists must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) RT-PCR test result, taken at most 72 hours before departure of the flight to Costa Rica. The certificate must be in English or Spanish.
  • This does not apply to:
  • nationals of Costa Rica;
  • family members, who are spouses of nationals or residents of Costa Rica;
  • parents of minors who are nationals or residents of Costa Rica;
  • children and siblings, who are minors or with disabilities, of nationals or residents of Costa Rica;
  • passengers younger than 12 years.
  1. A "Pase de Salud" form must be completed at most 48 hours before departure of the flight to Costa Rica. This will generate a QR code which must be presented upon arrival. The form can be obtained at www.salud.go.cr/
  2. Residents of Costa Rica must have proof of payment of the Costa Rican Social Security.
  3. Passengers could be subject to self-isolation for 14 days.
  4. Entry regulations for nationals of Costa Rica apply to passengers with proof of being dual nationals of Costa Rica.
  5. Passengers must arrive at San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR).
  6. Expired residence permits (DIMEX):
  • with category “permanente" are extended until 11 January 2021;
  • with categories “temporales" and “especiales" which expired after 18 December 2019 are extended until 11 January 2021;
  • with category “estancias" which expired after 17 March 2020 are extended until 12 February 2021.
  1. Effective 1 November 2020 passengers who in the past 14 days have been in any state of the USA will be allowed to enter.
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  • So if I'm understanding the first bolded section right, it means that I can't enter the country without a visa if I've traveled to any country other than those listed in the previous 14 days (implicitly including the US as well per the next section which should open up to all 50 states on November 1st)? – Abion47 Oct 18 at 21:30
  • @Abion47 Sorry my bad, the first bolded section doesn't apply to you (and me), so you're all good. As a result the only additional restriction is potential ban on flight path. – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 18 at 21:37
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In addition to the entry requirements for Costa Rica as discussed elsewhere, do note that your family members who live in New York will (as of this writing) have to comply with the state's quarantine orders upon their return.

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