The Ministry of Health ordered, today Sunday, the closure of all bars, clubs, and casinos in Costa Rica, until further notice.

Likewise, the closure of the Parque Nacional de Diversiones (National Amusement Park) was ordered.

The Government announced, at a press conference, that the police will have the authority to verify that the Health provision is followed. If officers detect open bars, they will close them.

Other meeting places, such as restaurants and cinemas, that do not comply with the order to operate at 50% of their visiting capacity will also be closed.

This last provision also applies to sodas (small eateries) and food courts in commercial centers and malls.

In the case of restaurant bars, they will be allowed to stay open if they limited capacity to 50% stated in their Health permit.

“An executive agreement between President Carlos Alvarado and the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, will grant health authority to members of the Fuerza Publica (National Police) for surveillance and control, both to verify the closure of bars, clubs and casinos, as to ensure 50% of visiting capacity for other meeting centers,” said the statement.

Establishments that do not comply with the provisions will be shuttered for 30 days.

Minister Salas affirmed that the measure was taken because many bars ignored the instructions issued by the authorities the previous day to operate at half capacity.

“Remember what I said yesterday clearly that we all have to join (in this fight), and that there were reports of clubs and bars that were crowded on Friday.

“We said that if the directive was not followed, and indeed, an operation was carried out yesterday with the support of the Fuerza Publica and they (in many of the bars and discotheques) continued as if we had not said anything,” said Salas, visibly upset.

Also, as of tomorrow (Monday) ordered is the suspension of massive events, that sporting events be held behind closed doors (no spectators), as well as the decrease in seating in cinemas and theaters.

Also starting Monday, 350 schools and colleges, both public and private, will close for 14 days, based on criteria such as contact with case detection, relationship with suspected cases or lack of water.