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How Should The Borders Reopen?

How Should The Borders Reopen?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Costa Rican borders have been closed since March 19. Entry to the country has been limited to citizens and residents with mandatory 14-day quarantine, and other limited exceptions.

As of this writing, the border closure is in effect until June 30, with the possibility of being extended further.

When reading social media comments and gauging the opinions of those in Costa Rica, it’s clear that most people find themselves in one of 2 camps:

  1. To avert a worse economic catastrophe, the borders must reopen to tourists. Tourism is dying.
  2. To avert a health catastrophe, the borders must remain closed to foreigners for now.

We can safely assume that most everyone agrees that the borders need to reopen at some point in time, but also that they can’t be totally open on Day 1.

If we were the Costa Rican government, we would be looking into opening the border in careful phases to avoid the situation spinning out of control and having to close the border again.

Here’s a proposal for “Phase One” — or some variety of the following:

  • Entry of tourists would be allowed by air only, to SJO only, and only from countries from an approved “low risk” list where active cases are below a certain threshold and decreasing.
  • These tourists could either choose from being tested on entry, or some form of quarantine. They will need to provide some detailed information on where they are staying and how they can be reached.
  • Residents who left after March 25 would be able to return to Costa Rica, by air only, to SJO only, with mandatory 14-day quarantine.

What do you think? Would it work? Is it too strict, or too risky? Let us know!

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