Costa Rica enacting strict measures during Semana Santa; country adds 28 new coronavirus cases

April 1, 2020

Costa Rica is enacting a series of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 during Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week).

The measures, among the most significant taken in response to the coronavirus crisis, are part of Costa Rica’s efforts to reduce gatherings during what is typically the country’s biggest travel week.

The measures are as follows, according to President Carlos Alvarado:

Friday, April 3 to Tuesday, April 7

  • The nationwide nighttime vehicle restriction will be enforced from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning. Essential services are excepted, as detailed here.
  • Beginning Saturday, a nationwide daytime (5 a.m. to 5 p.m.) vehicle restriction will be enacted as follows based on the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate:
    • Plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 are restricted on Saturday and Monday.
    • Plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are restricted on Sunday and Tuesday.
  • Most commercial businesses must remain closed. Delivery services are still permitted, and essential businesses (including grocery stores and pharmacies) can stay open.
  • Long-distance public transportation (75 km or farther) is limited.

Wednesday, April 8 to Sunday, April 12

  • A nationwide vehicle restriction will be observed at all times. Driving to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers is permitted as follows:
    • Wednesday, April 8: Vehicles with license plates ending in 0 and 1 are allowed to drive to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers. Most other vehicles are banned from public roads.
    • Thursday, April 9: Vehicles with license plates ending in 2 and 3 are allowed to drive to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers. Most other vehicles are banned from public roads.
    • Friday, April 10: Vehicles with license plates ending in 4 and 5 are allowed to drive to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers. Most other vehicles are banned from public roads.
    • Saturday, April 11: Vehicles with license plates ending in 6 and 7 are allowed to drive to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers. Most other vehicles are banned from public roads.
    • Sunday, April 12: Vehicles with license plates ending in 8 and 9 are allowed to drive to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers. Most other vehicles are banned from public roads.
  • All public transportation, except taxis and some essential routes, will be suspended.
  • More information, including a small list of exceptions to the vehicular restriction, will be provided Thursday, April 2.

Bills that would increase fines for violators of the vehicular restrictions or other sanitary measures are currently advancing through the Legislative Assembly and could be approved in a second debate this Friday.

“These measures are to protect us as a country,” President Alvarado said. “We need to ensure we don’t saturate our health services.

“Stay at home. Protect yourself. Follow protocols, and protect our country. Together, we can move forward from this.”

See the below table from the Costa Rican Presidency for more: 

Semana Santa vehicular restrictions
A handout from the Costa Rican Presidency detailing the upcoming vehicular restrictions. (Via Casa Presidencial.)

Costa Rica confirms 28 new coronavirus cases

Costa Rica has confirmed 375 cases of the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Wednesday afternoon.

The figure marks a 28-person increase over the same time Tuesday.

Fifteen people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 — nine of them in intensive care. The age range of those in intensive care is from 36 to 69 years old, according to the Health Ministry.

Costa Rica coronavirus cases
A graph showing coronavirus cases in Costa Rica through April 1, 2020. Tico Times graph.

Two elderly adults have died after contracting COVID-19, and four people have recovered — meaning Costa Rica has 369 active cases.

The 375 total cases are located in 53 cantons across all seven of Costa Rica’s provinces.

Below is a map of cantons with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Click on a blue marker for more information:

If you believe you may have contracted COVID-19 or have questions regarding the coronavirus, contact Costa Rican health authorities by dialing 1322.

Official COVID-19 (coronavirus) data for Costa Rica.
Official COVID-19 (coronavirus) data for Costa Rica. Via the Health Ministry.

 

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