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How to Quarantine in Costa Rica

At CRIE we get a lot of questions about the local rules and guidelines regarding quarantine in Costa Rica. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are temporary quarantine and isolation measures in place in the country. As of this writing (July 21, 2020) they include:

  • Any person entering the country will be ordered to quarantine at home for 14 days, with some rare exceptions.
  • Any person suspected of having COVID-19 and is tested will be ordered to self-isolate pending test results.
  • Close contacts of persons confirmed with COVID-19 may be ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days depending on the situation.

Please note that these requirements are to be taken seriously. Quarantine violators are subject to large fines and potential criminal prosecution.

Quarantine Guidelines

The Costa Rican health ministry has published a guide for Costa Ricans returning to the country:

(click for larger version)

Follow these instructions for 14 days, in your home:

  1. Stay in a room exclusively for the isolated, with the door closed.
  2. You must find another home if you live with the elderly or those with chronic conditions / risk factors. If that is not possible, shelters have been made available.
  3. You must dedicate a bathroom and shower exclusively for the isolated. If that is not possible, be sure to diligently clean the shared bathroom with water, soap and bleach after use.
  4. Keep plates, utensils, cups/glasses, towels, and other personal implements exclusive to your use. Do not share them.
  5. If you must share common areas of the home, the following is recommended:
    1. Use a surgical mask.
    2. Wash your hands when you leave your room.
    3. Family members must stay 1.8 meters away from you.
  6. The entire family must diligently apply basic hygiene measures to reduce risk of infection.

Those under quarantine or isolation order are not allowed to leave their home except for serious medical emergency. That means that all food has to be delivered in some way. If you are unable to coordinate food delivery, that will be arranged for you. The goal is to keep others safe and sound!

If there are any doubts during your quarantine, you can call 1322 for more information. If it’s an emergency (for example, if you’re having trouble breathing) call 9-1-1.

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