The vehicular restrictions announced for Semana Santa that goes into effect at 5:00 pm Friday, April 3 and continues until 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 12, left many scratching the heads.
On Wednesday, President Carlos Alvarado read out the restrictions for this day and that day, and at this hour, or that, and if, but, ok, when can I drive my car or motorcycle? And when not? Especially that fine will be ¢107,000 colones, 6 points and/or have your vehicle and/or license plate confiscated?
Pablo Paniagua and his simple to use app to the rescue.
“I made this app to know the days when you can drive your vehicle, using only the last digit of your license plate. This app is only a guide and always consult official sources to decide whether or not you can drive your vehicle. If possible, stay home :),” says Paniagua on his design-challenged app that can be found at https://quedeseencasa.anvil.app/.
A more colorful version is here: https://larestriccion.com/
Either version is simple to use: just type or click on the last digit of you vehicle’s license plate and the app will tell you on what days and times you can and cannot drive your vehicle.
Hint, you cannot drive, unless you are exempt (see here the full list of exemptions), between 5:00 pm and 5:00 am on any night starting on Friday.
The entanglement comes during the day, because you can only drive depending on the last number of the license plate and for the period between April 8 and April 12, only to go to the local supermarket, bakery, butcher, corner store (pulperia) or pharmacy.
And in case you have any doubt, the vehicular restriction for the Semana Santa period is countrywide. On Monday, April 13, only the nocturnal restrictions from 10 pm to 5 am weekdays and 8 pm and 5 am on weekends apply to all parts of the country; the daytime weekday restrictions only to San Jose.
Although President Alvarado made a valiant effort to explain it well, many got a headache just listening to it.
It should be remembered that the Government took these measures in the face of the emergency in the country due to the COVID-19, but above all because Semana Santa is a traditional time in Costa Rica for many to head to the beaches, mountains and resorts or hang out at the mall, parks, and so on.
Why most countries have issued “stay at home” orders or put their country on “lockdown”, the heads leading this crisis decided to hit Costa Ricans where it hurts them most, restrict their ability to drive somewhere, anywhere.
PS: bookmark the page larestriccion.com for easy reference. Or print out the following chart and stick it to the dash or your car or do a screen save on your mobile.