Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Visitors from certain countries will require yellow fever vaccination

Entry to Costa Rica may be denied if they don't comply

(Inside Costa Rica) - Beginning on Friday November 30 Costa Rica's immigration service will be requiring visitors arriving from a select group of countries to have a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever before they can step on Costa Rican soil.

The countries affected by the regulation are Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and French Guyana from South America and from Africa, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, and Nigeria.

Affected by the regulations are Costa Rican residents who travel to countries on the list, requiring a certificate to re-enter Costa Rica.

The certificate has to be obtained at least 10 days before arriving or returning to Costa Rica, as this is the incubation period for the vaccine, according to Costa Rican immigration officials.

Residents in Costa Rica can get vaccinated in Costa Rica before they leave for a visit to a listed country. The problem is that the vaccine is not currently available in Costa Rica. Pharmacies and hospitals do not have a supply of the vaccine and health officials say it won't be available at least until next January when a shipment is expected.

For residents in Costa Rica it will mean they will need to obtain a certificate of exemption prior to travel since there is no vaccine available, otherwise they will have to obtain one in the country of origin and may have to extend their visit to wait for the incubation period.

Mario Zamora, director of Migration, said that the measure will be strictly adhered to and his officials will refuse entry to anyone who does not present the certificate.

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