Monday 28 November 2022

Government rules out, for now, toughening sanitary measures for Semana Santa

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26 November 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – This Semana Santa, if the number of daily new cases continues on its current trend, we will not see the harsh sanitary restrictions of last year.

For Semana Santa 2021 beaches will remain open from 5 am to 6 pm. In the photo by Jorge Castillo, people enjoy the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, pre-pandemic.

At least that is the word for now from the government of Carlos Alvarado, as they do not see, for the moment, the need to tighten sanitary measures for Semana Santa (Easter Week), which this year is from March 28 to April 3.

“We are not, at this time, with the current conditions, thinking about a greater closure or restrictions greater than those in force,” said the president of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) – National Emergency Commission, Alexánder Solís, this Tuesday, at a conference press.

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However, everything will depend on the fact that the positive cases of covid-19, whose numbers remain low since last month, do not shoot up again.

So, unlike last year, we will be able to head for the beaches and resorts during the holy week, travel freely from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm and enjoy the beaches from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm, every day.

Currently, there are no daytime vehicular restrictions save for the area of San Jose prior to the pandemic from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm from Monday to Friday, based on the last digit of the license plate: Mondays 1 & 2, Tuesdays 3 & 4, Wednesdays 5 & 6, Thursdays 7 & 8, and Fridays 9 & 0.

The nighttime restrictions, countrywide, are from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am, Monday to Sunday, for all vehicles, with the well-known exemptions, such as driving to and from work rental cars, emergency vehicles, and so on. Get the official complete list of vehicle restrictions and exemptions at presidencia.go.cr/alertas.

What is in the plans for authorities are communication and inspection campaigns to comply with sanitary protocols.

According to Solis, the rigidity of the sanitary measures that were applied in Easter 2020, when the first cases of the new coronavirus were reported in Costa Rica.

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If you will recall, between Wednesday and Sunday of Semana Santa 2020, for example, we could drive our vehicles only go one day and that was to go to pharmacies or supermarkets, according to their license plate number.

All non-essential establishments were closed.

There were no religious celebrations or processions.

The CNE president acknowledges that last year we have fewer cases, deaths, and hospitalizations than currently, but last year, at this time, this was all new to everyone, and “we did not have any preparation measures”.

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This year,  however, according to Solis, work is being done with local emergency committees and the private sector to reinforce health protocols.

Religious celebrations

The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica reported weeks ago that it was awaiting instructions from the Holy See for Semana Santa.

For Lent the processions and Stations of the Cross have been suspended.

 

 

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