QCOSTARICA – The Governing Council accepted a request from the Minister of Tourism and for mandatory vacations for all Central Government officials during Semana Santa (Easter Week) with the purpose of contributing to the reactivation of the tourism sector and the chains associated with this industry in the rural and coastal communities of the country.
All central government employees will use up their vacation days on March 29, 30, and 31, and when combined with the legal holidays of April 1 and 2 and weekends, will have from the close of business on Friday, March 27 to opening on April 5, will have nine days off work to bolster the tourism sector, that had been hardest hit this past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Executive Branch will apply a collective closure and grant vacations, on March 29, 30 and 31, which will be reduced from the balances of the civil servants, so that they can take those days and join them to enjoy the legal holidays corresponding to Holy Thursdays and Fridays – April 1 and 2.
“Public institutions will take the corresponding provisions so as not to affect essential public services, as well as emergency care,” explained the Minister of Labor, Silvia Lara.
The civil service is the group of Costa Ricans who has not been affected by job and wage cuts and generally in the higher earning category and have a higher disposable income.
In her message, Minister Lara, explained that the Central Government’s public sector offices (non-essential services) will close at the end the business day on Friday, March 27 and will re-open the morning of Monday, April 5.
The Minister highlighted that guideline has no cost for the public finances since vacation days will be deducted from the balance that each public servant has.
For his part, the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, pointed out: “I extend an invitation to Costa Rican families to tour Costa Rica with exhaustive respect for the health measures to prevent COVID-19 because we are still in a pandemic. We must remember frequent hand washing, facial protection with the use of masks, physical distancing and traveling in social bubbles.”
The Minister urged us to rediscover our country during Semana Santa, seeking new destinations in all regions, new experiences both on the beach, in the mountains, and in rural communities to recharge energy and fully appreciate the natural beauties and wide biodiversity that Costa Rica offers.
Tourism is considered one of the main engines of the national economy and one of the industries that generate the greatest production chain directly or indirectly with sectors that include agriculture and commerce, as well as a wide range of tourist services intertwined as links that They bring social progress to communities such as hotels and other accommodations, tour operators, restaurants, tourist transport, certified guides and artisans among many others.
“The decision of the Governing Council will give relief to hundreds of families, both those who work directly in tourism such as guides, transporters, waiters and cooks, receptionists and gardeners, as well as those who provide goods and services such as farmers, fishermen, ranchers of rural and coastal nature,” added Segura.
In a complementary way, the Tourism minister invited Costa Ricans to improve their tourist experience with the hiring of certified tourist guides during the tours and when visiting the National Parks and conservation areas, together with the hiring of tourism transport units, a subsector that also requires support.
“I make a respectful call to all companies in the sector to offer differentiated and appropriate rates for national tourists,” said Segura.
The Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) recommends the hiring of companies or services with a tourist declaration or certificate of tourist sustainability (CST) that are in order in their operation, a situation that will guarantee, in addition to the quality of their, compliance with the sanitary protocols for the tourist activities.
Those interested in more information, obtain travel recommendations and a series of alternatives can visit the website www.vamosaturistear.com.