The United States has urged its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Costa Rica, citing the rising rate of coronavirus infections in the country.
In its latest travel advisory, the state department has dropped the “Level-4” advisory for Costa Rica, placing the country in the “Level-3” category. The news comes just as the Central American country is preparing to welcome foreign tourists.
Costa Ricans have spent months under lockdowns, but the number of COVID-19 cases has been rising at a faster pace in recent weeks. As of 14 October 2020, the Central American country had reported 91,780 positive cases, with more than 1,100 fatalities.
That’s a huge number given that the country is home to less than 5 million people. However, Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, has expressed conformance with the US travel advisory, saying the country was previously put on far higher “Level-4” advisory.
According to experts, a Level-4 category recommends people not to travel at all, while “Level-3” advisory calls on them to avoid “non-essential” travel.
“This is excellent news for the country given that the travel categories are becoming more important during the pandemic,” he told to Tico Times. “The United States is the main source for tourists to Costa Rica, and this change is crucial 19 days before we allow entry by air to Costa Rica for all US citizens and residents.”