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After the announcement of the QR Code mandate and other COVID updates yesterday, we have received several questions. We have sent clarification requests to the Ministry of Health, and they have answered all of them,

After the announcement of the QR Code mandate and other COVID updates yesterday, we have received several questions. We have sent clarification requests to the Ministry of Health, and they have answered all of them, we understand the urgency and our team is committed to share everything we know as soon as the official information is sent to us.

This is a short, straight-to-the-point article to go over what we know so far, and if you have any other question please leave it in the comments, and we will consult with the government if needed. We kindly ask you to keep the conversation respectful.


First, we would like to clarify that there is a lot of misleading  and false information being shared on social media. Unfortunately this is the norm when it comes to topics related to the pandemic. Our goal here at Outlier Legal News is to contribute by sharing trustworthy data, that is why we only work with official sources, and we attend the COVID press conferences.

We appreciate your patience while we are gathering reports, translating and connecting the dots before we post. We are also very grateful with those sharing our content, we see you Tico Times and every single one of you.

Guidelines confirmed by the Ministry of Health

Underage Tourists
  • Everyone over 12 years of age will use QR Code to enter to the established places.
Those who are in the process of getting DIMEX (vaccinated abroad)
  • They have to follow the same process of getting the vaccine card certified by the Ministry of Health, and sending the documents to their email.
  • The process remains the same, regardless if you are Costa Rican or foreign in the process of getting your residency.
Those who are in the process of getting DIMEX (vaccinated in Costa Rica)
  • They can request the QR Code online, and with it, they will be able to access all places.
Unvaccinated tourists
  • They can enter the country with medical insurance.
  • They won’t be able to access to the places where the QR code is mandatory.
Vaccinated tourists
  • They can enter the country with the Health Pass.
  • They will be able to access places where the QR code is mandatory, once they complete the form online.

Places where the QR Code is mandatory

  1. Restaurants, sodas, cafeterias and food courts and food trucks.
  2. Bars and casinos.
  3. General stores (supermarkets and grocery stores are exempt from QR code), department stores and shopping centers.
  4. Museums.
  5. Fitness centers.
  6. Hotels, cabins or accommodation establishments.
  7. Spas.
  8. Activities, organizations or congregations in places of worship.
  9. Event rooms for business, academic or social activities.
  10. Adventure tourism.
  11. Theaters, cinemas, art and dance academies.
  12. Establishments for sports and cultural / artistic activities

We asked about AirBnBs, but the statement from the Ministry just says “hotels, cabins or accommodation establishments” we can assume AirBnB is an accommodation establishment then.

Find here our blog from yesterday, which includes the vehicle restriction and the details from the press conference. Here are some helpful links:


Mandated Vaccines, part of Costa Rica’s Constitution

How to: COVID Vaccination Certificate

QR Announcement



Professional Translator who has worked in the Legal and Medical industries for more than 10 years, passionate about Human Rights and Political enthusiast. Master in Translation (Universidad Nacional) and she is also a photography and sports fanatic.

Review overview
  • Kathy October 14, 2021

    Is there a list of identified places non-QR code tourists can go once they’ve entered the country? Where can they stay? Private rental homes? With friends/family who live here? What can they do? Spend time in non-commercial outdoor spaces? Go hiking, swimming, surfing, etc? Eat outdoors with their own food? It would be helpful to know what is available to tourists without a QR code, not just what is not allowed.

      • Joseph Pastore Jr. October 21, 2021


        Tico Times claims in this article:

        Vaccines will NOT be required to enter supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, banks, and other services deemed essential.

        While we don’t have a full list of what constitutes an “essential” business that would not require a vaccine, the government has in the past classified the following as essential:

        Suppliers, Delivery services
        Pharmacies, Bakeries, Agricultural supplies
        Medical centers
        Butchers,Veterinarians and hygiene Pulperías, Vegetable stores
        Banks,Funeral homes
        Farmer’s markets.

        Please inform me when it is legally written, to legally allow us ‘Non-Vaxxers’ to be exempt and allowed in these venues.

        Thank you

  • Melanie Thomson October 14, 2021


    Can you clarify this statement: “We asked about AirBnBs, but the statement from the Ministry just says “hotels, cabins or accommodation establishments” we can assume AirBnB is an accommodation establishment then.”

    Are we assuming AirBnB (and VRBO, Flipkey etc) is included or have you messaged the ministry for confirmation? I co-admin a large expat/tourism group and we will be getting these questions.


    • Stacey Jennings October 15, 2021

      We have asked for clarification around this. As soon as we hear we will update. Thank you for the question Melanie!

    • lily November 3, 2021

      i dont think air bnb owners that i know will be mandating the qr code. there has been no talk of this from air bnb or validation of a code needed from the government. there will be plenty of options. when you book, if they stipulate a mandate then probably but otherwise i think anyone is fine, vaccinated or otherwise.

  • Carlos October 14, 2021

    A little confused, if a tourist enter the country with insurance because he is not vaccinated, but can’t enter a hotel or lodging establishment , where are they supposed to sleep?

    • Howard 3 October 18, 2021

      Wherever they live, just not here. The implied objective is to protect the people that live here from unvaccinated people from causing a greater health risk to us IMHO.

  • Suz October 14, 2021

    There’s no information for those with dimex but vaccinated overseas ? only those in process.
    What about those with dimex vaccinated overseas ? Do you have to get your overseas card translated and where?

      • Gina Sweenie October 16, 2021

        Hi. So we do not have to physically take a translated copy to the ministry of health for approval?
        I am in process of residency and have my expediente. My husband has his temporary residency. Both of us had our vaccine in the US.
        This is very confusing.

        • Gina Sweenie October 16, 2021

          Sorry, also if a US citizen has permanent residency but vaccine in the US. Is there anything different?

          • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

            You can find the instructions here

  • Sage October 15, 2021

    Can you inquire about those who have had covid and have antibodies and a test to show that?

    • Stacey Jennings October 15, 2021

      There are no exemptions for those who have previously had covid.

      • Cheryl Jones October 16, 2021

        Exactly! And I had the monoclonal antibody injections and was just tested for antibodies from both the vaccine type of antibodies and the spike protein antibodies from natural immunity – positive with high levels of both types. Likely much more than anyone who has been vaccinated. Yet, they have created zero systems for people like me unless I get UNNECESSARILY vaccinated! After the monoclonal injections, you are not even allowed to get the vaccine for 90 days. So, where is my “passport” that shows that information and allows me to move about freely?

      • Douglas Danna October 22, 2021

        Hi! Do you know if there are exemptions for mothers who are breastfeeding? My daughter is only 3 weeks old

        • Stacey Jennings October 25, 2021

          We have not heard of any medical exemptions -but that is on the list of things we are awaiting answers on from the government.

  • Javier Iturralde October 15, 2021

    There are few cases, such as mine, that is a nightmare. I am an expat in the process of getting my DIMEX (have not had my first appointment yet, probably in November). I got vaccinated with 1 moderna in Spain, since if you already had C19 (a year ago) do not need more than one. Thus, how will I ever get my QR? seems never. Even if they request me to get a second dose, I cant get it here, and if I did, I would need 2 doses administered here. Of course I cant find them. So .. I am left in the Limbo.

  • Jose October 15, 2021

    Are there options to get vaccinated in Costa Rica for those who are in the process to get temporary residency, with a número de expediente?

    • Stacey Jennings October 20, 2021

      Everyone is able to get vaccinated currently in Costa Rica. Contact your local EBAIS clinic or watch for mass vaccine events

  • Allison Spencer October 15, 2021

    For those of us who have residency or citizenship we can access and download the EDUS App. It contains all my Caja related medical inf INCLUDING my vaccinations for Covid with lot #s. It seem like it would be easier for the govt to just add the QR code to our online files on the app; no back and forth emails and hard copies to carry around.

  • martin October 15, 2021

    Does that mean that no human rights for those who don’t feel they need to take this experimental vaccine?

    • JBonsall October 21, 2021

      That’s what we are wondering too. So sad.

  • David October 15, 2021

    I want to file a lawsuit against the government people in Costa Rica who issued this mandate. How can I do it?

    • JBonsall October 21, 2021


  • Linda October 15, 2021

    Hello, I see only one link for a form (looks like an affidavit), but the instructions state that I have to complete the online request and complete the affidavit. Where am I missing the online request?

    Thank you!

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      I believe this is what you are referring to?

  • Chris Oldham October 15, 2021

    What about Banks, Post Offices etc?

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      Those are considered essential services and currently not included. Please note that things can and most likely change moving forward

  • Joseph Madison Cloutier October 15, 2021

    When does this officially start?

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      December 1st

  • Earnestine Nickel-Ransom October 16, 2021

    I thought they were trying to attract tourists! By not letting unvaccinated tourists go anywhere, they may as well have required vaccinations to enter the country. They will not come if they cant do anything. I have a home here, pay taxes and contribute money to this economy but now i must move out of the country as i will not be forced to take a vaccine i dont believe in. This country will suffer for this unethical decision. For now, it is my family that will be uprooted and suffer. Bye Costa Rica. You are not the country i thought you were.

    • JBonsall October 21, 2021

      We had a family trip completely booked there for Jan & Feb and feel the same you do about the vaccine. I am hoping we can get fully refunded. This makes me sad. We love Costa Rica. This seems like a political move.

  • laura croft October 16, 2021

    What is the process for a double vaxxed non resident to obtain the CR Heath Pass? TIA

  • Allen October 17, 2021

    Are banks essential services? And what about going to the dentist or doctor?

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      Yes those are considered essential services

  • Marjorie Smith October 17, 2021

    My husband and I recently received our DIMEX cards. We were vaccinated abroad. Because we received our DINEX cards we deleted our entry Salud QR codes. Is there a way to get copies? Can we get the Covid QR without the health pass code? Thank you

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      Your QR code would have only been for that particular entry. Now you will need to follow the process that is for those with residency

  • Sheryl McGlamery October 17, 2021

    Hi. I got my first vaccine in Costa Rica and my second in the U.S., so I have 2 cards.Do I just sent a copy of my US card along with my cédula information? Also, I haven’t been back to CR since being vaccinated and don’t have a current health pass QR code. My husband does, though, as he’s been back. Does he use the one from July? And do I just fill out a new one, even though we won’t be going back until mid December? Thanks!

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      We have submitted requests for clarifying information to the government. As soon as we receive any new information we will update our social media platforms – your situation is something we have heard a lot of – hopefully we can get our answers sooner than later

  • Sheryl October 18, 2021

    What if you already have a permanent resident cédula? We got our first vaccine in CR and the second in the US, so we have 2 vaccination cards.

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      We have submitted requests for clarifying information to the government. As soon as we receive any new information we will update our social media platforms I have added your specific situation to the list of questions

  • Michel Hebert October 18, 2021

    I am in the process of obtaining residency, no Dimex card yet. I have been vaccinated in CR. I filled out the web form and sent the email 45 days ago, no news, nothing. They will never be ready for Dec 1st…can you ask what is their contingency plan?

    • Stacey Jennings October 18, 2021

      Hello – yes that is the exact type of question we have been asking them. It’s a waiting game at this point

  • Julius October 18, 2021

    My dimex cedula card (libre condicion) expired already in middle of this year and I couldn’t renovate it until now.
    I recieved a message from migración that any dimex card expiring till February 2022 will keep it’s validity.

    Do I need to proof my vaccine status to renovate my cedula?

    • Stacey Jennings October 20, 2021

      That is not a current condition of DIMEX renewal

  • Mike October 18, 2021

    Any mention of airports and shuttle services? I would assume they would be considered essential, but I’d hate to get into CR on Oct 31 only to find out I have no way to actually leave on Dec 12th

  • Karen Hall October 20, 2021

    Tourist from Canada arriving Nov 14/21. Fully vaccinated. Will fill out Health Pass 72 hours before departure. Question: in what form do we prove our vaccines? FAQ!!
    Each person was given a hand written card with our name on it, date of vaccine and brand of vaccine. Thank you.

    • Stacey Jennings October 20, 2021

      You will need to upload photos of the cards to to the pase de salud (health pass)

      • JBonsall October 21, 2021

        My family has a trip completely booked to Costa Rica for nearly 6 weeks kn Jan-Feb. we are not vaccinated and have no plans to be. Do you know if Airbnb and others are refunding money due to the new requirements?

        • Stacey Jennings October 21, 2021

          I have not heard anything regarding refunds at this time

  • Matt Keiler October 21, 2021

    Are private storage units considered essential? Must one be coerced into accepting an emergency authorized medical technology in order to access their private belongings held under contract with a private company?

  • KMM October 22, 2021

    This is unbelievable. They went from not even having to mask in an outdoor restaurant, to having to be vaccinated to walk up to a food truck. And private home rentals? How are they going to enforce this?? They took down half the country with the lockdowns and restrictions, and now they’re finishing us off with the vaccines. Costa Rica is shooting itself in the foot. What good can they expect to come of this? In the name of SAFETY? In a country where 80% are already vaccinated? Its doomsday for CR… sad beyond belief.

  • kelley October 24, 2021

    We feel the same way. Just got back from a scouting trip looking for property. Actually one under contract. But now will withdrawal from that contract and find another country to invest our money in.

  • Mark Simmons November 3, 2021

    Good afternoon. I have my cedula, I have had both vaccination shots in CR, Pfizer. And I have sent copies of everything to receive my QR for travel. I have not received the QR and I am flying to the US on Sunday. I am scheduled for the antigen test Friday. I have read that everyone would have the code by today, November 3. Any suggestions on who I should ask? Thank you. Mark

    • Stacey Jennings November 4, 2021

      You will not need your QR code for entry into the US…. you will require your vaccine cards and your negative test. And the QR codes are taking longer than they predicted – not a huge shock there I guess.