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QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ABOUT TRAVELING TO COSTA RICA AMIDST CORONAVIRUS (COVID19) | AERO CARIBE | AIR CHARTER

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.

The pristine Marino Ballena National Park

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.

If you are considering travel, is Costa Rica a good option?

Costa Rican authorities are by no means taking the situation lightly, and are acting swiftly and competently to mitigate the spread of the virus and not be a strain on the medical system. We sincerely believe that if all countries act accordingly (and citizens follow their instructions), we will see that this situation improves drastically and we will all be able to resume our everyday lives. In the meantime, we hope everyone stays safe and sane, and we will be putting out some useful and fun content to pass the time. When it comes time that people can travel again, we very much hope that they will feel safe and comfortable to come and join us.

Costa Rica will remain an amazing place to visit for so many reasons. For those concerned about the quality of health care in this country, as International Living reports, “By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in America.” Costa Rica is a very clean country at the best of times, and with these extra precautions in place, it’s safe to assume it’s never been cleaner! For example, in much of the country (including our area!), there is potable water which drastically cuts down on the amount of people who get sick.

Visiting the Costa Rica Beaches, Mountains and Many Many Places

Our area remains beautiful and tranquil through this scary situation, and we feel very fortunate to have it as our home. Once the situation resolves, we are excited to resume our normal routines. But this situation has highlighted some questions or concerns that people may have in general about visiting. One nice thing about where we are located is that, while it’s still quite remote, we do have access to good quality healthcare. We are located a mere 25-minute drive away from the Hospital Thomas Casas Casajús of Ciudad Cortés that serves a large portion of the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica. We are also approximately 3 hours away from several major hospitals in the country’s capital, San Jose, where: “Private healthcare is also available, which is affordable and high quality,” according to International Living.

As reported by Business Matters magazine: “The authorities of the Central American country have allocated significant resources to the construction of hospitals and health centers, equipped with high-tech equipment, and training medical personnel, which have achieved worldwide recognition. ‘An index developed by Fetscherin & Stephano in 2019 placed Costa Rica in the 6th position among the top 30 medical tourism destinations worldwide. In the region were Panama (20), Brazil (16), Jamaica (17) and Colombia (19). The Dominican Republic (22) and Mexico (28) were located behind.’”

Our Recommendations

Follow the indications from the World Health Organization and your own government. This is a global crisis, and it is a time more than ever to practice love, compassion, and solidarity. To lend a helping hand to those in need — friends, family members, neighbors. To slow down, breathe, rest, and  take time to practice self-care. To take this time to reflect on how to do and be better, so that when we come out the other side we are ready to work together to create a better, more equitable, and more sustainable world.

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