QCOSTARICA – Modifying the hours of the sanitary vehicle restriction and allowing businesses – including bars and restaurants – to open until 11:00 pm would translate into almost 30 thousand jobs, according to businessmen attached to the Chamber of Commerce, who demand greater openness.
It is that the fight against Covid-19 is not won with measures that suffocate the economy, but with an agile vaccination throughout the country, various sectors have repeated the message to President Carlos Alvarado for a change in the restrictive measures.
Today unemployment remains above 17% and informality (generally accepted as individuals and their employers who engage in productive activities that are not taxed or registered by the government) is close to 50%.
If the sanitary restriction measures are not relaxed, it is possible that there will be new layoffs, the business sector warns.
“From different sectors, we have come together to call on the government to request that the nighttime sanitary vehicle restriction start at 11:00 pm instead of 9:00 pm and it eliminated during the weekends, as measures that allow us to protect employment and increase the sales of many companies in the country,” said Julio Castilla, President of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce.
In that sense, staying the extra two hours daily would mean an increase in sales of 20%, an increase in formal employment that would help thousands of families, that could easily increase sales up to 35% and a growth in employment between 21,000 and 28,000 people are estimated.
“The sanitary vehicle restriction is opposed to the objectives of economic reactivation, in a context where unemployment has skyrocketed and clandestine parties and meetings have increased, which far from solving the problem, exacerbates it,” said Jorge Figueroa, President of the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants.
In recent weeks, three out of four entrepreneurs report losses greater than 40%.
The union representatives reiterated the call to authorities to consider these proposals that allow them to mitigate the effects of the pandemic that is seriously affecting the national economy and thousands of Costa Rican families.
“From each of our sectors, we have supported the Government by applying prevention measures and we have made ourselves available to them in the search to accelerate the vaccination process, due to the urgent need to have that freedom to work and thus create greater well-being and employment for families in Costa Rica,” said Figueroa.
Joining in the call for less restrictions are various chambers, including:
- Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants
- Chamber of Mass Event Promoters
- Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce
- Association of Bars and Restaurants
- Chamber of Distributors and Cinematographic Exhibitors of Costa Rica
To date, the government has refused to listen to call from the business sector and the population.
However, a change is in the air, a change stemming from the mass vaccination campaign that started two weeks ago with the arrival of 500,000 vaccines doses on Thursday, July 23, donated by the United States, the delivery on the same day of 250,000 doses and the 482,000 doses on delivered last night, Wednesday, July 28, the latter two direct purchases from Pfizer.
In addition, for this week and next, it had been announced that the sanitary vehicle restrictions would be odd and evens until August 8, however, the government relaxed the measures at the last minute. See Weekday vehicle restrictions for even and odd plates planned until August eliminated
Given this, we could see lesser restrictions starting the week of August 9.