Costa Rica raised its shields for 28 days to stop the increase in the number of people infected with covid-19, which as of Monday had 41 confirmed cases in just 11 days.
For this reason, on Monday, March 16, President Carlos Alvarado and the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, signed a national emergency declaration that puts into effect the following measures, although the time could be extended if necessary:
- The entry of all foreigners is prohibited. The measure will take effect at 11:59 pm Wednesday, March 1 and will be in effect until 11:50 pm Sunday, April 12.
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It entry ban applies to all seaports, airports and land borders.
Only Costa Ricans and legal residents (with DIMEX card) can enter the country and must submit to mandatory home isolation for 14 days. On entry, they will receive a health order from the Immigration police.
- Suspension of classes in all public and private schools across the country. The suspension starts today, Tuesday, March 17 and is in effect until April 4. However, since schools are typically closed during Semana Santa (Easter Week) – this year April 5 to 12 – students will be returning to classes on April 13.
The social assistance programs Avancemos and Crecemos will continue, that is families in need will continue to receive their cash transfers. Financial aid from the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA) will also be maintained, and the school canteen service, for many children, the only good meal a day.
- Childcare will continue available to single mothers who heads of households so that they can work, and that elderly family members do not have to assume the task of child care.
- The national emergency decree facilitates the work of coordination between all institutions and channels economic resources to where it is most needed.
- The yellow alert announced last week will be maintained, to also facilitate coordination between emergency institutions.
- Bars, discos/clubs, casinos will all remain closed. Restaurants are required to operate at 50% of Health permit capacity. Failure will result in a closing of 30 business days.
As of Monday night, almost 100 bars, 2 discos and 22 casinos in San Jose were shuttered by Municipal Police for breach of the order.