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News briefs: Farmers markets may continue under new sanitary measures

March 26, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted daily life in Costa Rica, which has declared a State of Emergency and enacted sweeping measures to slow its spread.

Here’s what you should know as the day begins:

New guidelines for farmers markets

While most mass gathering events in Costa Rica have been suspended, farmers markets can continue to operate this weekend. However, they must adhere to several new sanitary measures, the Health Ministry said.

Markets must extend their hours, increase the space between stalls, and maintain one-way pedestrian traffic with a specific entrance and exit. The goal of the new measures is to reduce congestion and, consequently, the risk of coronavirus transmission.

The Health Ministry continues to ask that elderly adults and those with preexisting health conditions remain home, sending a family member in their stead. 

Foreign Ministry supporting 1,000 Ticos

The Foreign Ministry says it has assisted more than 1,000 Costa Rican citizens who need repatriation support.

The agency says it has helped 451 Ticos return to their home country in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry is coordinating efforts with 554 others.

Many airlines have suspended service to Costa Rica (and elsewhere) as countries issue travel restrictions and international travel drops.

ICT releases open letter to tourism industry

Maria Amalia Revelo, the Minister of Tourism, published an open letter to the sector in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

My first words are a thank you for the unwavering commitment to our national and international tourists,” she wrote. “These have been very hard, dramatic weeks, and despite this we have managed — by leaving the airports open for the entry of nationals and residents, and for the departure of foreigners — to repatriate citizens who were abroad and allow more than 50,000 tourists who were in our national territory to return to their homes.”

Amalia Revelo recognized “recovery will be very slow and long” but that someday “tourists will return to discover with their families and friends every corner of our country.”

Read her full letter to the tourism sector here.

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