Wednesday 22 March 2023

Businesses will lose permits on third violation due to parties or capacity

The business will be closed and will need to process a new operating permit an pay the corresponding fines

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22 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The Ministry of Health announced this Tuesday that it will permanently shut down commercial premises on their third violation of failing to comply with the distancing, capacity, use of a mask and other sanitary measures.

Through the directive MS-DM-RC-6526-2021, of September 27, all health areas were informed that the decision applies as of September 30 for all places that receive people, whether bars, places of parties, commercial premises (retails stores), restaurants, among others.

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“Faced with non-compliance with the provisions issued by the Ministry of Health, due to the health emergency situation caused by the covid-19 disease, the temporary suspension of the Sanitary Operating Permit and the closure of the establishments for a period of 15 calendar days, the first time; the second time, the Sanitary Operating Permit will be suspended for a period of 30 calendar days and, the third time, the revocation of the Sanitary Operation Permit will proceed and with the consequent closure of the establishment,” indicates the guideline.

In the case of the first and second violation, in addition to the temporary closure, a business is issued a fine. However, in the case of the third, in addition to paying the corresponding fine, the business must apply for a new Sanitary Operating Permit if it wants to reopen again.

The new directive from the Ministry of Health comes after the owners of the premises insisted on not complying with the sanitary measures despite the fines and consequences.

The Municipalities could not act if Health did not revoke the operating permit.

For example, recently the owners of Sharky’s bar in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, have hosted continuous mega-parties throughout the year amid the health crisis.

The Santa Cruz Health Governing Area had to intervene in the business three times in the last six months.

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On all three occasions, fines were imposed on the owner; however, the business kept its sanitary operating permit intact, which, with the new guideline, will no longer happen.

The business is one of the most famous in the Pacific north town and hosts events such as sports festivals and dances. Photo: from the Instagram account @sharkystamarindo

The festivities take place mainly on weekends, but crowds have also been recorded during the week, the business allowing attendees to party without respecting social bubbles and other measures to avoid contagion.

José Miguel Álvarez, deputy director of the Fuerza Publica (National Police) in Guanacaste, told La Nación that the last closure of the Sharky’s bar was due to “overcapacity”, but added that this case is not isolated, since they have also had problems with other businesses located in Tamarind.

The Fuerza Publica reported that for this past weekend responding to a total of 174 incidents related to clandestine parties and events without any authorization to carry them out.

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