Our safety measures to help protect the community from transmissible diseases such as COVID-19

The health and safety of the RightsCon community, including staff and participants, is important to us. In May 2023, the World Health Organization released a statement that established COVID-19 as an ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). This decision was made given the consistent downward trend of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations. 

A lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic, and one that Access Now continues to take seriously, is the impact and risks of transmissible diseases, such as COVID-19, on participants and the communities in which we live and work, particularly for those who are at greater risk. We recognize the ongoing importance of communicating our approach and sharing resources to inform your decision-making around health and safety more generally. 

Costa Rica has no entry requirements related to COVID-19, however it does have a Yellow Fever vaccination requirement if you’re arriving from (or traveling through) countries with risk for Yellow Fever virus transmission. Otherwise, the country is fully open to visitors, and does not mandate vaccines, testing, masks, social distancing, or other requirements for travelers or gatherings.  We will regularly review guidelines from the Costa Rican government and international health community to ensure we comply with local measures and provide participants with up to date information if anything changes. 

For RightsCon, we encourage in-person participants to be fully vaccinated, to test themselves regularly, and consider wearing a mask while traveling to, attending, and after RightsCon. 

In addition, we will:

  • Share regular guidance, reminders, and updates in the lead-up to and during the event;
  • Have masks and sanitizer on-hand to offer to participants;
  • Work with the venue staff and health authorities to implement regular cleaning and disinfection, and other safety protocols;
  • Provide access to free rapid antigen tests if you feel ill while in attendance within a staffed onsite medical room.

It’s up to all of us to protect our community gathering in-person from the spread of COVID-19 and, as such, we ask that you:

  • Review country entry requirements for your points of departure, connection, and return;
  • Prepare a contingency plan for your accommodation and travel (including insurance coverage) in the event of a positive test or if symptoms arise;
  • Take a rapid antigen or PCR test before traveling to Costa Rica or the venue;
  • Take measures to prevent transmission of viruses – such as mask wearing, hand washing, and regular sanitizing;
  • Visit the medical office located at the venue should you not feel well, require a test, or need health guidance. 

If you feel sick, are symptomatic, or test positive for COVID-19 or any other transmissible disease the recommended guidance is that you isolate. We ask participants who test positively to communicate with us via email at [email protected] and isolate themselves at their accommodations. If a participant or staff member tests positive, they will not be permitted to attend RightsCon until an appropriate timeframe has passed. 

We have not mandated social distancing, testing or masking due to capacity and spacing considerations, as well as our inability to adequately and legally enforce such mandates. We have worked to enable and strongly encourage protective measures on an individual level, and we ask that our community respect those around them in what they choose to do based on their own level of comfort.  If you have pre-existing conditions that put your health at risk, we encourage you to consider participating in RightsCon online.

As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].