QCOSTARICA – With the arrival of the trade winds and Christmas and the relaxation of the sanitary measures, it would basically be almost like returning to the prepandemic conditions, except for nighttime vehicle restrictions.
On Tuesday, Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado personally announced three “important” changes that will take effect starting October 16, for the “gradual and responsible” opening of the economy.
Among those changes are the relaxing of the daytime vehicular restrictions, which will lead to complete elimination of the daytime restrictions in December; greater capacity in shops, transport, and tourism and including sports and other activities, would gradually increase.
But the big change or bomb dropped by the government is that presenting a vaccination certificate will be required to enter restaurants, sodas, cafes, food courts, bars, shops and shopping centers, museums, gyms, casinos, accommodation establishments, business and social event rooms, adventure tourism, theaters, cinemas, academies of art and artistic activities, among others.
“This will allow us to have greater economic openness and get out of the pandemic faster,” declared president Alvarado.
“Those people who do not have a complete scheme should not be allowed in certain places … Each unvaccinated person puts others at risk,” he added.
Of the population that is still pending vaccination, there are 749,084 people over 12 years old, according to estimates by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). Of those, 200,000 are between 12 and 17 years old. This population can only be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, the only one with emergency use authorization for those ages.
Greater shipments of this vaccine are awaited, since what has arrived so far is intended to complete schedules and immunize those over 58 who were lagging behind.
“For those 550,000 people over 18 years of age we have enough vaccines. We need to get to them. The call is to go to the vaccination centers,” said Alvarado.
“Every person who is not vaccinated puts themself at risk, 80% of patients in intensive care do not have any doses,” he added.
In the case of children under 12 years of age for whom there is no authorized vaccine yet, they may enter any of these activities with their parents or guardians already vaccinated.
Activities that require vaccination
According to Dr. Daniel Salas, Minister of Health, the activities for which people will be asked to be vaccinated are recreational. This will not be required for places of first necessity, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, health centers. For this reason, it will not be required for the national elections next February.
Events that will require immunization are divided into 12 categories:
- Restaurants, sodas, cafes and food parks (food courts or food trucks).
- Bars and casinos.
- Retail shops and shopping centers.
- Physical conditioning centers.
- Hotels, cabins, accommodation establishments.
- Activities, organizations and congregations in places of worship.
- Event rooms for business, academic or social activities.
- Adventure tourism.
- Theaters, cinemas, art and dance academies, artistic activity establishments.
- Sports activities establishments.
The vehicular restrictions
Starting October 16 and to December 31, there will be a gradual relaxation of the sanitary vehicular restrictions. The highlights are:
- From October 16 to October 31, the countrywide sanitary vehicle restriction will be from 10 pm to 5 am from Mondays to Sundays; during the week based on the last two digits of the license plate, on weekends “odds” and “evens”.
The nighttime vehicle restrictions and their well-known exemptions will continue and be from 10 pm to 5 am.
- For the month of November, the nighttime restrictions will apply countrywide from 11 pm to 5 am, while the weekday daytime vehicular restrictions will only apply to the inner of the city of San Jose, delimited by the Circunvalacion, from 5 am to 11 pm.
- From November 1 to November 14, the weekend daytime vehicle restrictions from 5 am to 11 pm will be applied.
- For the month of December, the weekday daytime vehicle restrictions will be applied only to the city of San Jose and weekend restrictions totally eliminated. The nighttime vehicle restrictions will continue to apply from 11 pm to 5 am, countrywide.
The following slides were presented on Wednesday and can be found at the official government pages:
In the coming days we will be publishing articles on what we learned today, as more information becomes available.