Saturday 4 February 2023

Costa Rica’s “gradual opening” starts with elimination of vehicle restrictions as of March 7

Measure is taken in the face of the decline in the contagion of covid-19 in the country, announced President Carlos Alvarado. The mandatory use of a mask is maintained in closed places

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4 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – This Wednesday afternoon, February 23, 2022, the Government of Costa Rica announced the elimination of the vehicular restrictions starting Monday, March 7, 2022.

The current vehicular restrictions will continue to March 6 and be eliminated starting Monday, March 7

During a press conference from Casa Presidencial, President Carlos Alvarado announced the lifting of the sanitary vehicle restriction across the country. However, the weekday vehicle restrictions will be maintained in the central core of the city of San Jose, in the same way they were prior to the pandemic.

Read more: Costa Rica will eliminate entry requirements for unvaccinated tourists on April 1

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Days ago, Alvarado, announced that the restrictive measures would be lifted in the coming days.

The President said that the measure is taken based on the data on infections and hospitalizations related to covid-19, which show a slowdown in the transmission of the omicron variant in recent weeks.

The use of the mask is still mandatory in closed spaces and the recommendations for handwashing and temperature measurement remain in force, as well as the promotion of vaccination. Alvarado assured that there is a sufficient quantity of vaccines, made possible through various donations in particular from the government of the United States and Spain, so he reiterated his call for people to complete the scheme and go for the booster.

Businesses with a public health permit, ie restaurants, bars, retail stores and so one, starting March 7 will be able to function regular hours.

Present at the press conference was also the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Alvarado and Alexander Solis, the president of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE).

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Solís clarified that the state of emergency declared in March 2020 is not being lifted. This involves a process that could last up to five years. Nor, he said, are the alerts being lifted.

Daniel Salas, for his part, announced that from March 1 to 31, sports, cultural, academic and business activities, as well as discos, dance halls, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, bars and others will be able to operate at 100% capacity with the use of the QR code, or at 50% without the QR.

According to Salas, cinemas and theaters that want to increase capacity in March must take into account that they will be operating with this modality: in case they do not have or do not request a QR, they will be able to continue with 500 people in the configuration that has already been established in health protocols; By using the QR they will be able to increase their capacity to 100%.

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Salas added that cultural and sporting events may be held with the public, applying the health protocols already established for these activities, with 80% capacity with voluntary QR code verification and 40% without QR; social event rooms without QR can have a maximum of 100 people and 200 people with the  QR code.

In all cases, for the month of March, the use of the QR code is not mandatory. Starting April 1, capacity can be at 100% without requiring the use of the QR code.

“In this context, we insist on responsible and gradual opening. Today, we are stating the route, especially the relaxation and elimination of collective mitigation measures, health measures that are applied collectively, not those of a personal nature,” Solís clarified.

Sanitary measures that change starting in March

Sanitary measures that will be maintained

Sanitary measures that will continue to be applied include:

  • The use of a mask in closed places.
  • Vaccination. The campaign continues in first, second and third doses for adolescents and adults and for first and second doses in children from 5 to 11 years old.
  • The recommendation of teleworking, Salas describes it as an important tool.

 

 

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