In another example of brilliant work to appease those dependent on tourism for their business survival, the government last week agreed to continue with the planned opening of airports to international tourists on August 1st.
The fine print in the ruling is the country will only open to tourists from Canada, the EU and Great Britain, for now. However, Air Canada has already suspended operations until September 12th, while Westjet and Air Transat have yet to announce any rescheduled flights to Costa Rica. One or two flights a week from Europe will not save the tourism industry.
There are also many questions that need to clarified regarding the statement on Airport openings.
Are restrictions based on airline, passport or origin of flight? Would someone from the U.S. arriving on a flight from Canada be permitted entry or would someone with a Canadian or European passport arriving on a flight from Houston be turned away?
Are the required PCR tests available to tourists 48 hours prior to departure?
Will Costa Rican citizens and residents arriving on these international flights be permitted to skip the currently required quarantine since it’s not required of tourists? Do they need a PCR test? Are they required to fill out the epidemilogical survey?
Do tourist know about which Canton is under Yellow Alert and which is Orange? Do they know what a Canton is?
The Daniel Oduber International Airport can open, but it will receive no international flights other than repatriation flights already scheduled, but at least they are open.
Many questions to yet be answered. Hopefully these questions will be resolved sometime this week, since August 1st is next Saturday.
The airports are ready to receive passengers, with many new protocols in place.