QCOSTARICA – At the press conference from Casa Presidencial that started more than 15 minutes this afternoon, the government announced new sanitary measures that will be applied for the rest of this month of May, aimed at curbing the exponential increase in covid-19 cases, that has resulted in a collapse of hospital services.
The new measures are in two parts: the vehicular restrictions that take effect Tuesday morning and new guidelines on capacity that take effect on May 13. Both will continue until the end of the month.
In every corner of the country, starting at 5:00 am Tuesday, May 11, the daytime vehicle restrictions based on the last digit of the license plate apply through the entire country, save for the well-known exemptions and not just the 45 cantons of the Central Valley, as follows:
- Mondays: plates ending in 1 and 2 CANNOT circulate
- Tuesdays: plates ending in 3 and 4 CANNOT circulate
- Wednesdays: plates ending in 5 and 6 CANNOT circulate
- Thursdays: plates ending in 7 and 8 CANNOT circulate
- Fridays: plates ending in 9 and 0 CANNOT circulate
- Saturdays: plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 & 9) CANNOT circulate
- Sundays: plates ending in odd number seven numbers (0, 2, 4, 6 & 8) CANNOT circulate
At night, from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, throughout the entire country, all vehicles are restricted, saved for the well-known exemptions.
The official list of restrictions and exemptions can be found here.
The fine for violation of the restrictions is ¢110,000 colones.
Read more: 27-year-old connected to an ‘artificial lung’ for 111 days after infected with covid-19
Capacity (aforos in Spanish)
From Thursday, May 13 and until May 31, to try to flatten the contagion curve of the covid-19, the following measures are in place:
- Bars drop from 50% to 25% of their capacity. Restaurants will continue at 50% as is currently established.
- For academic and business activities, ire meetings, events, etc, the capacity decreases from 300 to 150 people, always maintaining a distance greater than 1.8 meters
- For social events, the capacity is reduced from 75 to 30 people, always maintaining a distance greater than 1.8 meters
- In worship activities (churches and temples), 200 people will be the maximum capacity, always considering the capacity of the sites
- Hotels with more than 100 rooms, the capacity must be reduced to 75% of the use of the facilities
- At national parks, the capacity is reduced to 50%; An exception is made for the Poás Volcano, which is maintained for the reason that it already has a reduced capacity of 50 people per shift, due to a volcanic alert.
- Non-essential commercial establishments may only operate from 5 am to 9 pm
- For public transport, no standing passengers is permitted
- Beach hours are maintained from 5 am and 6 pm
For the official and complete details of the new sanitary measures visit http://presidencia.go.cr/alertas
For the time being, other than the foregoing, there are no closures of non-essential businesses as was this past week (May 3 to 9).
But that may change in the coming days if the daily new cases continue over the 2,000 and there is no foreseeable decrease in the need of medical services that are currently overcapacity.
Read more: 66% of ICU patients are under 60 years of age
On Sunday, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), reported 1,188 covid-19 patients, of which 432 are in intensive care.
According to Roman Macaya, president of the CCSS, never in the history of Caja has there been than many patients in hospital beds due to one single disease.