Government tightens measures to contain spread of COVID-19 during Holy Week

  • Measures do not restrict access to basic services.

  • Night-time vehicle restriction nationwide is extended between Friday April 3-Tuesday April 7 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

  • Long-distance public transportation is also restricted, and closure of establishments holding sanitary permits and open to the public will be carried out. Home delivery services are permitted.

  • Daytime vehicle restriction will be enforced nationwide from Saturday April 4-Tuesday April 7, between 5:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. according to license plate numbers.

  • Personal vehicles and public passenger transportation vehicles are restricted from Wednesday April 8-Sunday April 12, except as indicated otherwise.

  • Restriction also applies to all vehicles with the following exceptions: access to supermarkets, grocery stores (abastecedores), small grocery stores (pulperías), pharmacies and healthcare centers with no time-schedule restrictions.

As part of Holy Week, and in view of the state of emergency nationwide caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of the Republic has decided to tighten the sanitary measures issued by the Ministry of Health in an effort to stop the contagion. These measures do not impact the access to basic services.  

Given the epidemiological characteristics of the disease and their impact, both the healthcare system, institutions and the population are all required to implement radical measures with the aim of preventing a fast transmission of cases, thus overcrowding healthcare services in the weeks to come and an increase in the disease mortality in Costa Rica. This was announced at Wednesday’s noon press conference by President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, along with Ministry of Public Health, Daniel Salas, and Social Security Administration (CCSS) President, Román Macaya. 

Alvarado indicated that the above measures will be effective as of Friday, April 3-Tuesday, April 7 and followed by other measures to be enforced from Wednesday, April 8-Sunday, April 12.

Friday, April 3-Tuesday, April 7. Restriction to vehicles will be enforced from 5:00 p.m., except as indicated otherwise. (See attached imaged) As for daytime traffic, only authorized license plates will be permitted. This will be complemented with the closure of  establishments holding sanitary permits which are open to the public and  the restriction of long-distance public transportation. Food delivery services will be permitted.

-Nighttime vehicle restriction is extended to 5:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m. (starting at 5:00 pm Friday)

-Daytime vehicle restriction from 5:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (starting at 5:00 a.m. Saturday). No vehicles will be permitted based on the last digit of the license plate number, as follows:

  • Saturday: last digit of license plate number is 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8.

  • Sunday: last digit of license plate number is 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9.

  • Monday: last digit of license plate number is 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8.

  • Tuesday: last digit of license plate number is 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9.

-These measures seek to minimize long-distance public transportation to only two trips per day. Restricted routes will be those covering distances longer than 75 kilometers, as agreed by public transportation representatives and MOPT.

-Closure of establishments holding sanitary permits which are open to the public will be carried out. Home delivery services are permitted.

-Taxi services are permitted.

From Wednesday 8-Sunday 12 April: Restrictions to vehicles, exchange of services and freedom of movement (persons) will be applied for  5 days on the grounds of state of emergency nationwide, as stipulated in Article 34 of the Law on Emergencies and Risk Prevention regarding the power of the Executive Branch to impose temporary restrictions during a national emergency. 

Except as indicated otherwise, the free movement of vehicles and persons is suspended, but access to supermarkets, grocery stores (abastecedores), small grocery stores (pulperias), healthcare services and pharmacies with no  time-schedule restrictions  is guaranteed. Vehicle transportation will remain subject to the last digit of the license plate number as applicable.

Furthermore,  all public transportation is suspended, except for special transportation for essential activities of the production sector and taxi services .

– No transit of vehicles on public spaces will be permitted. The list of exceptions will be provided tomorrow.

– All public transportation is suspended, except for special transportation for essential activities of the production sector.

– Transit of vehicles will be restricted with the following exceptions: access to supermarkets, pharmacies and healthcare centers with no time-schedule restrictions.

– Vehicle access to supermarkets or pharmacies will be possible only as follows:

  • Wednesday last digit of license plate number is 0 or 1.

  • Thursday: last digit of license plate number is 2 or 3.

  • Friday: last digit of license plate number is 4 or 5.

  • Saturday: last digit of license plate number is 6 or 7.

  • Sunday: last digit of license plate number is 8 or 9.

 These measures seek to prevent the movement to leisure areas or any person from exiting the country using public transportation, thus minimizing the risk of a contagion and the overcrowding of healthcare services. Public employees will continue to work remotely and assist in the emergency during Holy Week, with Thursday and Friday as statutory holidays and no vacation time.

All restrictions effective as of today will resume on April 13.

Regarding the nighttime sanitary vehicle restriction issued by the Ministry of Health, 172 traffic tickets were reported for Tuesday night/Wednesday early morning, as well as 345 tickets for other violations, with 9 drivers found driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

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Eduardo "King George" Zamora

Certified English/Spanish Translator with extensive experience in technical, business, IT, legal and medical translation, editing and proofreading. Spanish/Portuguese/English translator/proofreader with 5+ years experience in technical, business, legal and medical fields.

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