Heading to Costa Rica and wondering how the coronavirus outbreak could affect your trip? Read on to learn more about this latest global health crisis and what that means for your impending adventure vacation
The outbreak of the new COVID-19 coronavirus has had a huge impact on the travel industry, even in regions where no infections have been reported. People the world over are gripped by anxiety and fear with a wealth of contradicting news reports shedding no light on the real situation, leaving many to wonder if they should consider cancelling their trip to Costa Rica.
First of all, it’s important to know that as of today, the 4th March, 2020, Costa Rica has no reported cases of coronavirus, which is fantastic news for anyone heading to our shores for an exceptional adventure vacation
As of March 12th, 2020, there are 22 cases of coronavirus confirmed.
As of May 12th, 2020. borders are currently shut until June 15th. The government has done a very good job here at containing the outbreak. There are under 800 cases and only 6 deaths so far (last time I listened), so the country has managed the situation better than most. We have nor been told when we will reopen yet.
Dispelling wild speculation and, instead, highlighting the real facts should go a long way in easing your fears. Whether you already have a trip planned with us at Costa Rica Rios or were contemplating booking an adventure tour soon, there’s a host of info you should know before making any decisions, either to go ahead or cancel.
Naturally, your health and safety are of paramount importance but so is making an informed decision.
Here’s what you should know:
What Is The New Coronavirus?
The World Health Organization (WHO) categorizes coronaviruses as a family of illnesses that range from the common cold to more severe strains of respiratory illnesses which have, in the past, included SARS and MERS. This latest outbreak has seen a new strain emerge, one that has never before been recorded. Much of the confusion (and public panic) comes from the fact that the virus was unknown at first yet in the two months since the first infections were discovered, a lot of information has been obtained from international health and infectious disease centers.
From what is known, right now, around 80% of those infected with this new strain (now named COVID-19) display mild symptoms and recover on their own without the need for special medical treatments. Out of those 20% that do require more care, between 18 and 19% go on to recover fully, leaving a fatality rate of between 2% (in China) and 1% (elsewhere). Although the fatality rate is much (much) lower than other severe coronavirus strains (like the above mentioned SARS and MERS), the COVID0-19 seems easier to transmit.
This is why prevention is so important.
You’ll find a host of valuable information and travelling tips on the WHO Advice for the Public page.
Where Does Costa Rica Stand on the New Coronavirus Health Scare?
Costa Rica has NO reported cases of coronavirus at time of writing
As stated above, Costa Rica has remained blissfully coronavirus-free throughout this latest outbreak, and is one of more than 120 countries that haven’t been affected. The sheer number of direct flights from the US and Canada also means that the overwhelming majority of travelers will not need to transit through any coronavirus hot-spots, further minimizing their chances of contracting anything on their way south.
Although all countries seem to be doing a great job of isolating their affected regions, restricting flights and carrying out comprehensive pre-boarding scans, it’s comforting to know that we remain one of the safest and healthiest travel destinations in the world.
All major government travel advisory boards advice people against travelling to and through affected regions yet NONE are suggesting you cancel your travel plans to other regions.
There’s absolutely no reason to consider cancelling your vacation in Costa Rica.
What you should do, however, is to keep abreast of the latest updates.
What should you do?
- Avoid all non-essential travel to affected countries/regions – you’ll find an updated list on the CDC Website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and you can also follow their daily updates on Twitter and keep abreast of their latest Costa Rica Advisory.
- As long as you haven’t traveled to/through affected regions in the fortnight prior to boarding your flight to Costa Rica, then you’re all set to go! If you have, you simply need to wait it out until you’ve passed the 14-day mark as directed by health authorities.
- Avoid sensationalist news outlets and, instead, follow the directives of the US Government Travel Advisory which is, at time of writing, focusing primarily on China and Asia, in general.
- Enroll your journey in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so you can get real-time updates as they’re published, specific to Costa Rica and any countries you may be transiting through.
- Maintain a high level of hygiene (wash those hands properly!) and simply keep a safe distance from anyone displaying obvious flu symptoms (cough, sneeze) whilst you travel. Remember that a mask is not necessary unless YOU are displaying symptoms of a cold.
- Keep perspective – at the end of the day, the precautions you should adopt to prevent being infected with coronavirus on your travels are the same you’d adopt at any time when travelling. Wash your hands, keep away from people who appear to be sick, and wash your hands.
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Ready to put this mess behind you and come enjoy a vacation in the most exhilarating country on earth? Then why not check out our Costa Rica Adventure Vacation packages?! And remember, we are ready to chat to you about your travel plans and advice you on the best way forward for your specific situation.
Call us anytime!