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Costa Rica announces new measures to slow spread of coronavirus

March 12, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Thursday announced a new set of measures to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus within the country’s borders.

The news comes as Health Minister Daniel Salas confirmed the country’s 23rd case of COVID-19. The new case was identified in a Costa Rican healthcare worker, Salas said.

Costa Rican health authorities announced the following new measures:

  • The government will issue preventative closures of education centers that meet certain risk factors — including those with epidemiological links to COVID-19 or with water shortages. Full details will be announced Friday, with closures starting next week.
  • Public spaces should operate at a maximum of 50% capacity. The capacity limit applies to public transportation, restaurants and movie theaters.
  • The general public should remain at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) away from others.
  • International business travel for public workers has been suspended. The private sector is “urged to act along the same lines.”

The above instructions are in addition to previously announced measures suspending mass gatherings and telling employees to work from home when possible.

President Carlos Alvarado said the decisions taken by the Emergency Operations Center will allow the country to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 without paralyzing the country.

“The responsibility is with all of us,” said President Alvarado. “The objective of protecting us as a country doesn’t depend on the Health Ministry or on the Caja, but on all of us.”

Salas emphasized again Thursday that Costa Rica will not close its borders to international visitors.

This is a developing story and may be updated. 

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