Monday 28 November 2022

Government asks businesses to use voluntarily use the QR code

Businesses will benefit by being able to operate at 100% capacity if they voluntarily ask customers for a QR code

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QCOSTARICA – Given the temporary suspension to the application of the QR code by businesses to verify vaccination against covid-19, the government is reminding stores that they can operate at 100% capacity from December 1 if they voluntarily ask their customers.

The businesses that do not accept this proposal will continue at 50% capacity.

The temporary suspension was confirmed on Thursday after the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo y Civil de Hacienda (Contentious Administrative and Civil Court of Finance) decided to suspend the mandatory nature of the QR code while it resolves a claim by tourism entrepreneurs against that measure.

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The suspension is only against the code because the sanitary measures of capacity are still in force. With the announcement, the government seeks to counter the decision by offering an incentive to establishments to operate at the top of their capacity if they, voluntarily, request the verification challenged in court.

“Those businesses that try to operate 100% without requesting the QR, according to the new position of the authorities, are exposed to fines and closures because capacity restrictions due to the pandemic are in force,” explained Agustín Castro, Minister of Communication.

The very provisional precautionary measure issued by the court only suspended the requirement to present the QR. However, according to the interpretation of the Executive, it did not suspend the power of the Ministry of Health to order what is the capacity for business.

For that reason, the Government now proposes to allow 100% operations in restaurants, shops, shopping centers, gyms, bars and others as long as the owners, voluntarily, ask their clients to verify the vaccination. The guideline will be in force from December 1 to January 7.

It also opens the possibility of more capacity for other establishments such as theaters and cinemas at 100% and for discotheques, dance halls and nightclubs (today closed) to open at 50% of their capacity if they voluntarily ask their customers for that code when entering.

According to the plan, commercial premises and mass activities will be able to choose between two types of capacity:

  • Voluntary implementation of the QR code certificate: Access to a larger capacity (in some establishments up to 100%).
  • Non-implementation of the QR code: The establishments will have a lower capacity and must also respect the 1.8 meter distance and social bubbles.
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From November 18 to December 1:

  • Sports and cultural activities with QR code: 25% capacity; Without QR code: 15% of capacity with distance of 1.8 meters and social bubbles.

From December 1 to January 7

  • Sports, cultural, academic and business activities of the: With QR code: 40% capacity; Without QR code: 20% capacity with distance of 1.8 meters and social bubbles.
  • Event rooms for social activities: With QR: 200 people: Without QR: 100 people with 1.8m distance and social bubbles.
  • Cinemas and Theaters: With QR: 100% capacity; Without QR: Up to 500 people with 1.8 meters, social bubbles and star formation.
  • Discotheques, dance halls and night clubs: With QR: 50% capacity; Without QR: 25% capacity with 1.8m distance and social bubbles.

Regarding the precautionary measure, the Ministry of the Presidency, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications have already sent the information and supplies required on the use of the QR Code to verify vaccination.

The press department of the Judiciary confirmed this Thursday that the hearings are in writing and only in a case of extreme necessity would it convene an oral hearing and that the process could take weeks or months.

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