Corona Virus (COVID 19)
Prados del Sol
Created: 2020.03.15 | Last updated: 2020.10.06
With the current pandemic, COVID-19 aka Coronavirus, we understand that our customer travel plans may need to change and we are helping out with that.
We think that Prados Del Sol is an ideal place to visit during the current situation, as well as during the seasonal flu outbreak, much safer than being in a crowded hotel or just being in a city like San Jose, but we’ll come back to that later.
If you have, or make, a reservation with Alpha’s Prados del Sol units during the pandemic, we will be flexible on allowing changes.
If you, or any of your family members are sick with ANY flu like symptoms, we make the follow requests:
Where emergency means: Danger to other people or long term damage to the property if not fixed immediately.
While we provide our opinion below, (we think we are safer coming to Alpha’s Prados del Sol than staying at home), we are not in any way imposing our opinion on you. During the pandemic, if you booked before it was declared a pandemic and want to postpone your booking to some later specified or unspecified date, we will let you do that with no penalty. Bookings will be on a first come first serve basis and may have some blocked dates like school break, Christmas and Easter, but other than that, we will be as flexible as possible to let you come when you feel safe.
Indeed, even if you book TODAY and then decide the risk has increased (you decide that not us) and want to postpone your booking we will do that with one condition: Let us know at least 7 days in advance.
Alpha’s Prados del Sol’s president and his wife came and visited for 10 days in early March from their home abroad while flight restrictions were in place for many countries and Italy had ‘shut down’ (there were no flight restrictions that applied to them – they did not ignore the advice or rules). They visited not only ‘without worry’, but enjoying the beaches, family atmosphere and feeling safer here than even at home in Canada, and they are planning on coming back in a couple months for an extended visit (unless travel rules prohibit.) On their return to Canada (as this is being written) they have a 93 year old friend who had a stroke the day before they left for Costa Rica, out of ‘an abundance of caution’ they have only communicated with their friend via email and will continue to do so until they have been back for 14 days with no symptoms. Update: Their 14 days are over and they are both perfectly healthy. Update 2020.09.01: They obviously didn't come back for their extended visit due to COVID-19 rules around the world.
People who tend to visit Alpha’s Prados del Sol will not be forced into crowded places, like ‘the bar scene’ in Tamarindo, unless they choose to drive 20 minutes or more because they want to.
In normal hotels and in ‘party’ towns like Jaco and Tamarindo, you really have no option but to be in close proximity with other people unless you hibernate in your hotel room – and even there, you have to get to and from your room. We are NOT saying that these are dangerous, but what we are saying is that if you want to have a great vacation without any worry that you are increasing your exposure compared to ‘home’, then Alpha’s Prados del Sol units are the absolute ideal place in the world to visit.
Indeed, if you live (or plan to visit) San Jose or any city in North America, based on all the info from the WHO and other government sources like the US and Canadian governments, we would boldly suggest that visiting Alpha’s Prados del Sol should statistically lower your risk of infection quite significantly.
There are many other activities that you can drive to in your own car around.
Depending on your level of concern, there are many other activities that, while putting you in contact with a few people, will allow you to enjoy without being in contact with a large number of people. Obviously you should decide the risk yourself and read the current advisories, and if you fit into the current risk categories (Elderly and already sick as of writing) you should heed the health warnings.
But as far as Alpha’s Prados del Sol’s president and his wife, they feel perfectly safe participating in events outdoors in the beautiful countryside. Given the high degree of self isolation, they actually feel safer coming to Alpha’s Prados del Sol now then during the ‘normal’ flu season, since even most people with minor seasonal flu symptoms are self isolating, reducing the risk to below that of the normal.
Update 2020.10.05: The biggest practical problems right now for visitors coming from outside Costa Rica:
You have to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before coming. But tests in some areas, like the Calgary, Alberta, Canada, are taking up to 5 and a half days to come back, while some come back within the 72 hours, not a high enough percentage for this to be practical. The practical issues of potentially missing your flights due to not having test results back in time make this appear to be a huge risk.
While many airlines are saying that, if you miss your flight due to reasons like the above, they will let you rebook, it isn't even close to as good as it sounds. This is fine if you are paying the full rate, but if you got a discount ticket, you can easily end up having to pay 3x's the original price of the ticket to get a 'free' transfer of the ticket. You see, the fine print says they will credit your ticket price against a new ticket, NOT that they will fly you to and from the same destination for the price of the ticket. So that $50 or $500 ticket you got, may easily end up being a $1500 ticket that you have to pay the difference if you miss your flight for basically any reason including test results not back in time or flight cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
expensive health insurance is required by the Costa Rica government.
Think carefully about your layovers in the USA. Currently there is a maximum of 15 hour layovers in the USA in the most 'dangerous' states. If you go with 14 hours of layovers, and then your flight is delayed 2 hours, you now had 16 hours of layovers, and in the past, if your layover was 'overnight' you might have gone to a hotel to sleep, you can't do that now, so those 'convenient' overnight layovers, if less that 15 hours, are now a lot less convenient because you can't leave the airport.
Make sure your country and province/state are on the approved list, this list can change with no notice, so if you are in an area where cases are on the increase, you may want to wait before travelling so you don't end up on the black list between when you book and when you fly.
When you are done your trip, in many places, like Canada, upon your return to Canada you have to go into isolation for 14 (some places longer) days, not being in contact with your spouse or children even. So if everyone in the same household doesn't travel, this makes any trip a major headache upon return, and it is even worse if you are someone who has to 'go' to work. You need 14 days more holiday time than your holiday. This is not a rule governments are likely to change soon in our opinion because it encourages vacations in your own province/state/country and discourages travel away from your home base - COVID-19 is an excellent excuse for the government to look like they are trying to help when they are instead trying to protect their local interests.
No longer a problem:
Previously you also had to go into 14 days isolation when arriving in Costa Rica, but that rule has been removed.
Previously you couldn't travel from or through the USA. Now you can have a connecting flight in the USA as long as you don't spend more than 15 hours in the airport and you don't leave the airport.
All in all, travel too Costa Rica is a big gamble right now, because of problems there, on the way too and from, and upon return. Costa Rica is of course trying to make the rules as easy to follow as possible because the country relies so heavily on tourism, but the rules and effect of multiple countries is currently making travel to Costa Rica from outside the country a big gamble and plain inconvenient. I don't think Costa Rica is going to get many travellers from outside the country other than business travellers that 'have to' travel, for the next year. On the other hand, this makes it a huge benefit for those inside the country that want to take advantage of 'travel at home.'
In addition, to ensure that good decisions are being made, we have let Alpha's staff know that they will not lose income if they decide due to illness to not work for a period of time.
Our president, Peter, has O- blood. for decades he has given blood every 56 days unless he is ineligible (once because of sickness, several times due to travel). He encourages all staff, customers and friends - and you, the reader of this page, to start giving blood if you can, and then, after this crisis is over - continue to give blood as often as you are allowed based on your countries' rules and whether you are male or female. (Males can give more often). If you have O- blood please make this one of your most important duties in life.