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News briefs: Google data shows effects of Costa Rica’s social distancing

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 need to know today:

Google reveals COVID-19 mobility changes

How much has life in Costa Rica changed as the country enacts measures to slow the spread of coronavirus? According to Google, quite a bit.

The company released COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports that use anonymized data to provide global insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at mitigating the pandemic.

Here’s how Costa Rica is doing:

  • 68% fewer people are visiting restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, museums, libraries and movie theaters, compared to baseline.
  • 41% fewer people are visiting grocery stores, farmers markets, drug stores and pharmacies, compared to baseline.
  • 71% fewer people are visiting national parks, beaches, plazas and other public nature areas, compared to baseline.
  • 21% more people are staying in places of residence, compared to baseline.

“Ultimately, understanding not only whether people are traveling, but also trends in destinations, can help officials design guidance to protect public health and essential needs of communities,” Google said in a blog post.

Click here to see the full report for Costa Rica.

Police enforce travel restrictions by air, land and sea

Costa Rican authorities are enforcing the country’s strict vehicular restrictions during Semana Santa via air, land and sea.

“In particular, authorities are making great efforts to stop the presence of people in tourist sites, as well as on the access roads to such places, especially beaches,” the Public Security Ministry (MSP) said in a press release.

In Paquera, Puntarenas, residents apparently took matters into their own hands, reportedly preventing vehicles with tourists from disembarking the Gulf of Nicoya ferry.

Sunday, cars with license plates ending in odd numbers are restricted from Costa Rica’s roads nationwide. All vehicles (with a few exceptions) are restricted from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday regardless of license plate.

Visit the La Restricción webpage for specific information based on the last digit of your vehicle’s license plate.

Happy Sunday!

Click here to read this week’s Slothy Sunday. And here’s another picture of a sloth, just because:

Rolo the sloth
Photo via Toucan Rescue Ranch.

Thank you for reading The Tico Times. We hope you have a fantastic day.

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