To curb the chain of the coronavirus, many countries are restricting using various entry criteria. Central America is a favorite region for many travelers. In Central America, you will find anything, no matter what kind of traveler you are. The slender land bridge of Central America, surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, stretches from Mexico to South America and consists of seven countries — Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
With the pandemic situation in mind, you need to know the basic entry criteria for every country before you can reach the region. They can differ, and understanding what they are is important so that you can plan for your journey. Some countries are part of the Border Control Arrangement for Central America-4 (CA-4) and have more flexible travel regulations.
According to the agreement, eligible foreign travelers may travel for up to 90 days in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua without completing the formalities of entry and exit at border checkpoints. Moreover, CA-4 entry agreements can be extended only one time and tourists can leave the member countries for 72 hours and return to apply for a new 90-day allowance. Tourists will get penalized if they overstay without getting the appropriate extension.
Mandatory Entry Requirement For Central America
If you are planning to explore the Central American countries from an area with any risk of yellow fever, you will need to provide a certificate before entering the borders. We highly recommend you to check the latest entry requirements before you plan your vacation as they are updated often.
The following entry criteria for Central America are for travelers from the United States, Canada, the EU and the United Kingdom, although the rules vary slightly depending on which country/region you come from.
Entry Requirement of El Salvador
If you are planning to travel to El Salvador, take into account that, as of 19 September, all passengers are expected to show the original PCR COVID-19 test certificate with a negative result. According to information provided by the Ministry of Health of the country, the test should be carried out within a period of 72 hours prior to the flight. The passengers who do not have this document will not be eligible to enter the country border. Citizens of the US, Canada, EU and UK can visit El Salvador for 90 days. There is no need for a visa, but you must have a valid passport, which you should always bring with you when you are in the country. Upon entry, there is a $10 (£5) fee on your tourist passport.
Entry Requirement of Nicaragua
As per the compliance of authorities of Nicaragua, it is mandatory to present the negative PCR test certificate, conducted no more than 72 hours before your flight for boarding. In addition, the result of your test must be submitted to the department no less than 36 hours before your flight. Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU(require a passport) can stay for up to 90 days. The passport must be valid for a period of at least 6 months after the entry date.
Entry Requirement of Costa Rica
Passengers must wear a mask at all times. This requirement is exempt for children under 6 years of age or passengers with special medical conditions. In the case of the above, the face shield (mask) must be used as a replacement device. All international passengers must be covered by a travel insurance policy authorized by the Costa Rican General Insurance Superintendence (SUGESE) through a local insurance provider, covering the medical costs of the traveler in the event of sickness by COVID-19, as well as accommodation. At least USD 20,000 for medical costs and at least USD 4,000 for housing must be covered by this insurance.
Passengers must digitally complete the Health Pass form at https:/salud.go.cr/. If they stay less than 90 days, visas are not needed for U.S., Canada, Australia, Britain, and European Union nationals. You must purchase a tourist visa for $160 USD and leave Costa Rica at least for 72 hours before re-entering the country if you intend to stay longer. Travelers ought to be able to show that upon entry they have more than $500 USD in their bank account, but this is seldom verified.
Entry Requirement of Honduras
The citizens coming from the US, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, and the EU require just a passport that is valid for at least three months after the date of entry. Honduras also allows foreign tourists to travel to and from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and can stay for up to 90 days. The tourist must pay $2 to get a tourist card. Tourists coming from Israel, South Africa, or China require $10 visas.
Entry Requirement of Guatemala
All passengers wishing to travel the country must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted 72 hours before the trip begins. The foreign tourist must have a valid passport. Citizens of the US, Canada, UK, the EU, Ireland can visit Guatemala for a maximum of 90 days. Visa requirements are not necessary.
Entry Requirements for Panama
Without a visa, Panama allows you to join the country for up to 180 days. You must leave the country for at least 30 days before entering again after 180 days have passed. You need to show your ticket back to your home country if you are entering Panama from Costa Rica and you are NOT a citizen or resident of Costa Rica. All else would still need to display evidence of onward travel. Immigration officials also ask you to provide documentation of a minimum of $500 in funds. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months and must show some unused pages as well.