In the Wednesday afternoon covid-19 briefing, President Carlos Alvarado, before passing over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas, announced a series of strict measures that will be applied for the Semana Santa, starting with this weekend.
The President was emphatic that the measures will for necessities such as going to the supermarket, the pharmacy, clinics and hospitals and continue working, though he streeted to work from home a much as possible.
The restrictions are aimed at curbing people from leaving their homes, taking the holiday week to vacation, reducing the propagation and the number of infection of the coronavirus.
The message is clear, stay home, go out only if necessary. “We don’t want come afte Semana Santa a surge of cases because people didn’t pay attention,” said Minister Salas.
Before I get to the lates covid-19 infected numbers, get your mind sharp for the following measures, that in Costa Rican style, can be confusing.
- For this weekend, from Friday, April 3 to Tuesday, April 7, the countrywide nocturnal vehicular restrictions will start at 5 pm and continue to 5 am.
- Establishments with health permits and attention to the public will be closed. That’s like just about everything, with the exception of supermarkets, pulperias y supers (corner stores) and pharmacies.Food services will be able to maintain home service or “express” as it is called in Costa Rica, allowing sodas and restaurants to have a way to earn some income.
- Long-distance public transport, as in busies, of routes of 75 km or more, will be restricted to only two trips daily. That is, only one bus each way to the coastal areas from San Jose, for example. This to avoid the movement of people to beaches and resorts where there may be conglomerations. Remember the beaches continue closed.
- In addition, establishments with sanitary and customer service permits will be closed.
- From Saturday, April 4 to Tuesday, April 7, the daytime vehicle restriction will be maintained from 5 am at 5 pm according to last number of the vehicle’s license place:Saturday, April 4: vehicles whose license plate ends at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8.
Sunday, April 5: vehicles whose license plate ends 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Monday, April 6: vehicles whose license plate ends at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8.
Tuesday, April 7: vehicles whose license plate ends 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.
- For April 8 to 12, there will be an absolute vehicle restriction except for access to supermarkets and pharmacies and other exceptions. Circulation of vehicles will be only permitted as follows:Wednesday, April 8: vehicles whose license plate ends in 0 and 1.
Thursday, April 9: vehicles whose license plate ends in 2 and 3.
Friday, April 10: vehicles whose license plate ends at 4 and 5.
Saturday, April 1: vehicles whose license plate ends at 6 and 7.
Sunday, April 12: vehicles whose license plate ends at 8 and 9.
The normal vehicular restrictions will resume on Monday, April 13: daytime from 7 am to 7 pm based on the last plate number; and all vehicles from 10 pm to 5 am weekdays and 8 pm to 5 am weekends.
- From Wednesday, April 8 to Sunday 12, all public transport is suspended, except for essential productive activities and taxis.
One of the exceptions to the tightened vehicular restriction is for people who have to get oa and from work. Like in the nocturnal restrictions, people should be prepared to demonstrate their work hours. Other exceptions are emergency vehicles, government vehicles authorized to circulate.
All the other exceptions to the vehicular restrictions and opening and closing of businesses will be announced on Thursday, April 2.
The vehicular restrictions include motorcycles.
“These restrictions are for vehicular traffic, because that is the one that, within the framework of legality, we can restrict,” said the President.
“They are done are to protect people from being infected and spreading the infection, so as not to saturate health services,’ he added.
Keeping on the subject of vehicular restrictions, Legislators are expected to approve and, in time for the president to sign the bill into law before the weekend, the increase in traffic fines from ¢23,000 colones to ¢107,000 for vehicles violating the restrictions.
“We will have time to vacation and return to our normal life, now is not that time,” stressed Alexánder Solís, president of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE).
Covid-19 in Costa Rica
Minister Salas reported that as of today there are 375 confirmed cases of covid-19 in the country, 28 more than the day before; They are 181 are women and 194 men, of which 346 are Costa Ricans and 29 foreigners. Four patients have recovered so far, and only two deaths.
Nineteen patients are in hospital, nine of which are in intensive care. The cases are spread out through 53 of the 82 cantons, in all seven provinces.
Stay home. Go out only if necessary, and then practice good hygiene and maintain social distancing.
Stay tuned to the Q for all the latest news and information on the covid-19 in Costa Rica.