We are all following the news about the novel coronavirus (COVID19) as, understandably, it is worrisome. At the moment of writing this update, there are 201 confirmed cases here in Costa Rica. On March 16, 2020, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency meaning that borders will close on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 allowing only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country until Thursday, April 30th, 2020.
In our opinion, they have displayed competency by acting swiftly and effectively to mitigate the spread of the virus. Precautionary measures are indeed being put in place to promote social distancing, reduce transmission, and “flatten the curve”.
Like everyone else on the planet, we are concerned about the implications of this pandemic, and we are mindful of how this is affecting real people, all over the world, in a variety of different ways. We are monitoring the situation, and taking it very seriously. To address any potential concerns, we have consolidated what we have learned through research, as well as a few updates with regards to the situation here in Costa Rica.
Concerned about traveling because of the coronavirus?
If you’re thinking about traveling in the next few weeks to months, we know that the coronavirus is on your mind. You may be thinking, when will it be a good time to travel again? That’s a very personal decision, and one that you should make yourself based on what you’re comfortable with. This is a very quickly evolving situation, and the hope is that this imposed period of slowness and stillness does the trick in slowing or even stopping the transmission rate.
We recommend following the situation as it evolves, and always choosing sources wisely — government agencies, trusted news outlets, etc.
What is the risk of contracting the coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization, “Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover.” The mortality rate of COVID-19 is still not 100% known, but it is believed to be in the 1-3.4% range (In Costa Rica is 0.5% for confirmed cases). It is much more fatal to the elderly and those with preexisting conditions (cardiovascular, diabetes, or respiratory disease). For the rest of the population, contracting the illness will not be unlike the common cold. However, it is notable that even those who only receive mild symptoms can still be carriers and can spread it to more vulnerable members of the population.
Thinking about visiting Costa Rica?
At present (April 13, 2020), there are 612 confirmed cases in Costa Rica. Following the example of other countries, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency on March 16, 2020, and the borders will be closed to everyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident between March 18-April 30, 2020. The government here has taken the situation very seriously, acting swiftly and sweepingly to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in Costa Rica.
So at present, even those who do want to visit Costa Rica will be unable to do so until mid-April. After this period, we can only hope the global situation will have improved and that we will all be able to resume our normal lives and doing the things we all love to do, including going out, gathering together, and seeing new places in the world.