Tuesday 31 January 2023

End of vehicle restrictions and greater opening wha business expects by year end

Tourism reports 15% of cancellations and losses for ¢1.6 billion colones due to the QR code

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QCOSTARICA – As Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations decrease, and the vaccination rollout advances, the productive sector advocates greater openness by the end of the year.

“It is vital that the nighttime restriction is extended until midnight, or else it is eliminated because at this time it does not generate any impact,” said José Álvaro Jenkins, president of the UCCAEP. Image La Republica

Eliminating the vehicle restriction, a full capacity of shops and postponing the entry into force of the QR code to validate the entry of people already vaccinated, are some of the requests the business sector is making to President Carlos Alvarado.

And it is that greater flexibility would be vital to reactivate the economy and take advantage of the economic boost that the bonuses would give in terms of the generation of jobs and trade.

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This past week we have seen a marked decrease of new cases from week to week, as well as a decrease in the number of people in hospital and deaths related to covid.

“It is vital that the nighttime restriction be extended until midnight, or be eliminated because at this time it does not generate any impact and rather affects business. We believe that the implementation of other protocols such as capacity control and constant insistence on vaccination allows us to reduce the spread of the virus and return to normality,” said José Álvaro Jenkins, president of the UCCAEP – Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado (Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector).

In that sense, more than 6.5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have already been applied as at November 1, representing 72.66% of the total population with at least one dose and 54.2% with both doses.

Julio Castilla from the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce expressed the same sentiment as the president of the UCCAEP, saying: “We hope that for the month of December the sanitary vehicle restriction will be extended after 11:00 pm or even eliminated altogether. We believe that the way forward is to continue with the vaccination process and other health protocols such as hand washing and the use of masks.”

On Wednesday, the tourism sector complained about the announcement of tourists entering the country must have the vaccination QR code, to allow visitors to enjoy their stay uninterrupted by mandated vaccinations in retail stores, malls, hotels, adventurer tourism, and more.

The Government said it will have a platform to do quickly and easily issue tourists the QR code that will come into force on January 8, 2022.

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As explained by the director of Digital Governance of Micitt, Jorge Mora, tourists can request this QR code through the health pass, as the system will automatically generate the corresponding code, which can be used in the country. This can be done at the airport or before visiting the country.

The website to generate the QR code before traveling will be enabled at the end of November, as reported by the Government.

Tourism reports 15% of cancellations and losses for ¢1.6 billion colones due to the QR code

“Through a survey, it is found that more than 58% of tourism businesses report cancellations as a result of the announcement of the measure, producing a 15% drop in reservations and leaving economic losses,” said Rubén Acón, president of the Cámara Nacional de Turismo (Canatur) – National Chamber of Tourism.

The Canatur president estimates the loss at ¢1.615 billion colones to the sector, and asks that the implementation of the QR code be postponed until after Semana Santa (Easter).

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Javier Pacheco, president of the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles (Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels), recalled that the tourism industry generated around US$4 billion in foreign currency to the country each year. After the pandemic, it dropped to 25%.

This year, as of September 30, the sector is 64% below the 2019 figures and still with figures below 2020.

“We do not have a lot of support measures that we should have, as it is the most affected sector,” Pacheco questioned.

José Tomás Batalla, vice president of the Cámara de turismo de Guanacaste (Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism), pointed out that the main visitor cancellations in the province have been in weddings groups and families, especially those with children around 12 years old, who are in limbo with the vaccine.

The representatives of the tourism sector laments that the government has not wanted to listen to them so far.



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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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