Wednesday 22 March 2023

Today, Septembet 15, NOT a legal holiday in Costa Rica

The legal holiday is on Monday, September 19

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QCOSTARICA – While many activities are being held today, September 15, to commemorate Costa Rica’s 201 years of independence, it is NOT a legal holiday for workers in both the public and private sectors.

Children proudly carry Costa Rican flags at independence day celebrations. Picture: Gary Burchett

The legal holiday will be on Monday, September 19. This is due to a Law approved in 2020 that moved 16 holidays to the following Mondays with the aim of encouraging local tourism at that time the country was hit hard by the pandemic.

Initially, the plan was presented thinking of moving the holidays between Monday and Thursday to Friday. Although, after several negotiations between banks, it was modified towards Monday, but the plan remained the same: to guarantee three contiguous days of vacations for tourists, which implied a minimum of two nights of lodging.

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“As legislators, we must guarantee that the consequences in the economy and the sector due to the Covid-19 Pandemic are overcome in the shortest possible time by our economic sectors, this reactivation must be accompanied by national strategies to encourage both nationals and foreigners to return to visit the tourist areas and get the sector out of the serious crisis in which it finds itself, ” reads the text promoted in 2020 by former legislator Roberto Thompson.

The transfer from September 15 to Monday was made during the years 2020, 2021 and this year.

For 2023 and 2024, the Law does not contemplate the transfer of this holiday on the day it falls on the calendar.

During 2020 and 2021, it did not have a major impact because in the first year, the country remained under strict restrictions on movement and the world still did not have a vaccine against covid-19 that would allow the free movement of people and vehicles.

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Meanwhile, by September 2021, the country recorded nine months of the vaccination campaign, although there were no student parades to avoid a spike in cases.


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