QCOSTARICA – The Government ordered the closure of non-essential trade from May 3 to 9, in the Central Valley, in an attempt to contain the exponential growth in the number of new cases of covid-19, hospitalized patients, and deaths, which have saturated the public hospitals.
During that week, all establishments with a health permit for face-to-face attention with the public, that includes retail stores in general, department stores, beauty salons, barbershops and aesthetics, churches and gyms, among other establishments, located in the Central Valley CAN NOT OPEN.
The only businesses located in the Central Valley exempt, that is that CAN OPEN, include supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, grocery stores, suppliers, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, home delivery, agricultural, veterinary and hygiene supplies, banks and funeral homes, hotels and farmer’s fairs.
The area of the Central Valley is defined by cantons as follows:
- San Jose province: San Jose (center), Escazu, Desamparados, Aserri, Mora, Goicoechea, Santa Ana, Alajuelita, Coronado, Tibas, Moravia, Montes de Oca (San Pedro) and Curridabat
- Alajuela province: Alajuela (center), Poás, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchí, Palmares, Naranjo, San Ramón y Alfaro Ruíz
- Heredia province: Heredia (center), Barva, Santo Domingo, Santa Bárbara, San Rafael, San Isidro, Belén, Flores y San Pablo
- Cartago province: Cartago (center), Paraíso, La Unión, Alvarado, Oreamuno, Jiménez, Turrialba y El Guarco
The sanitary vehicle restriction was also extended, which will now be until May 31; originally, it ended on the 16th.
The weekday license plate restriction will apply only to the Central Valley from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, based on the last digit of the license plate:
- Mondays vehicles with plates ending in 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate
- Tuedays vehicles with plates ending in 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate
- Wenesdays vehicles with plates ending in 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate
- Thursdays vehicles with plates ending in 7 & 8 CANNOT circulate
- Fridays vehicles with plates ending in 9 & 0 CANNOT circulate
On weekends, from 9 pm to 5 am, the limitations of circulation per license plate already established: even ending plates CAN circulate on Saturdays and odds on Sundays, will be maintained.
Vehicle restrictions outside the Central Region
The vehicular restrictions outside the Central Valley will remain unchanged, authorities clarified, that is only the weekend restrictions already established: even ending plates CAN circulate on Saturdays and odds on Sundays, will be maintained.
Why the tougher measures?
The exponential increase in cases this past week and record setting numbers, including a new record for this Thursday, the Ministry of Health reporting 2,781 new cases over the day before.
A new record that could or most likely be broken again tomorrow.
“We are talking about how, in 6 days, we could reach 4,000 daily cases. This figure represents a percentage that will affect the health services, which do not have the capacity to have more beds to attend patients as they deserve,” Salas reported.
The minister assured that the Caja’s hospitals currently have waiting lists for patients waiting for a space in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The Minister added that they have also received reports of an increase in the care of patients with covid-19 in private medical services.
Evolving news. We will be updating as we receive update information from authorities.
Following are circulars provided by the government to help clarify (confuse, albeit) the announced changes.