Costa Rica ash cloud forces airport closure and flight delays

Peter Terlato 21 September 2016

Turrialba volcano Costa Rica

Australians urged to contact travel providers and airlines for assistance.

The Australian government has emphasised cautionary travel advice for Costa Rica after volcanic ash cloud forced the temporary closure of San José's international airport.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) suggests travellers continue to exercise a high degree of caution if and when visiting the Central American nation.

Juan Santa Maria International Airport ceased operations for almost 24 hours when volcanic ash cloud from nearby Turrialba Volcano blanketed runways and airspace.

68 departures and 52 arrivals were suspended on Monday and Tuesday as a result of the closure and while the airport has been re-opened, travellers can likely expect some delayed services going forward.

Tobías Bolaños International Airport, west of San José, was also shut down and has yet to be re-opened.

The advice, broadcast via the government's Smartraveller website, says travellers should contact their tour provider or airline to obtain the latest information on disruptions and follow instructions issued by local authorities.

Last week, the Community and Public Sector Union, which includes members of the Australian Border Force, announced plans to intensify ongoing industrial action, anticipating significant disruption and delays for international air passengers departing and arriving in Australia next week.

DFAT has also recently issued warnings for Aussies travelling to Thailand and the Philippines following terror attacks and bomb explosions.

Visitors to Singapore have also been cautioned about potential health risks associated with the ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

If you're considering visiting a country against official government advice, find out whether or not your travel insurance covers the destination and compare the best cover options before booking your trip.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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