Sunday 19 September 2021

A challenging 12 days ahead drivewise in Costa Rica

Starting Monday, August 10, when the greater metropolitan area goes on lockdown, changes in the vehicular restrictions in orange zones change from two license plates being restricted to only two being allowed; no changes will occur for driving in yellow zones

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Rico’s DIGEST – In a few days, on Monday, August 10, most of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) and the Panama border areas of Puntarenas goes on lockdown for 12 days. It seems easy enough: orange zones closed, yellow zone (the rest of the country) open.

I wish it were that simple. It can be if you are not driving.

Starting at 5:00 am Monday morning, the vehicular restrictions change from not allowing two license plates to allowing only two license plates to circulate.

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Orange alert zones

In the yellow zones, vehicular restrictions are total from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm weekdays and 5:00 am to 7:00 pm weekends, on Mondays vehicles with licenses plated ending in 1 & 2 cannot circulate, Tuesdays 3 & 4, Wednesdays 5 & 6, Thursdays, 7 & 8, Fridays 9 & 0, Saturdays (0,2,4,6 & 8), and Sunday (1,3,5,7 & 9)

In orange zones the vehicular restrictions is total from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am every day and from Monday, August 10 to Friday, August 21, only vehicles that can circulate are on Mondays with license plates ending 1 & 2, Tuesdays (3 & 4), Wednesdays (5 & 6), Thursdays (7 & 8), Fridays (9 & 0), Saturday (0,2,4,6 & 8) and Sunday (1,3,5,7 & 9).

It’s all straight forward in theory. But it may be something else in real life.

Using the Ruta 27 (San Jose – Caldera) as a driving point, let’s say it’s Tuesday, you are coming from the beaches, you are motoring away, and unless your license plates end in 3 or 4 you are good to drive when, all of a sudden as you cross the Rio Grande, and you realize you’ve just crossed from the imaginary line from yellow to orange and only vehicles ending in plates 3 and 4 can drive today.

Click on the map or use this link for the interactive map for orange and yellow zones.

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Or, say you live in Cuidad Colon (Mora) and are used to shopping for groceries in Santa Ana, and its Thursday, and like the example before, unless your vehicle plates end in 7 & 8 you are good to drive when as round the curve, heading east, you realize only vehicles 7 & 8 can circulate today beyond this point, as you left the canton of Mora and now in Santa Ana.

Use this link for the interactive map for orange and yellow zones.

No warning, no sign, at least none that I have heard that will be posted, but maybe a team of transitos (traffic cops) waiting on the other side of the invisible boundary with a ticket pad in one hand and a screwdriver in the other?

Use this link for the interactive map for orange and yellow zones.

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Or the two pockets in Heredia and Alajuela?

Use this link for the interactive map for orange and yellow zones.

Following are several posters prepared to help you understand this. The fine for violating the vehicular restrictions is ¢110,000 colones, six points and seizure of license plates (hence the screwdriver) and or vehicle.

Pick the one that works best for you and keep it handy.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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