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News briefs: Changes to alert levels; bars can operate as restaurants

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health system.

Here’s what you should know today.

Changes to alert levels

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Tuesday announced changes to the coronavirus alert levels of several cantons. These changes take effect starting Wednesday, September 2.

The following cantons move from an Orange to the more lenient Yellow Alert:

  • Heredia province: Belén and San Isidro.
  • San José province: Escazú and Puriscal.

The following cantons move from a Yellow to the more restrictive Orange Alert:

  • Alajuela province: Poás, Río Cuarto, and the district of Pital in San Carlos.
  • Heredia province: Barva.
  • San José province: Vázquez de Coronado.

Businesses in Orange Alert cantons have stricter measures until Wednesday, September 9. However, the alert does not change driving restrictions in those cantons.

Click here for more information about September restrictions, and click here for an interactive map of Orange/Yellow Alert cantons in Costa Rica.

Bars can open as restaurants

The Health Ministry said Tuesday that it’s emitting a temporary resolution allowing bars, taverns and canteens to operate as sodas, restaurants or cafeterias.

Sodas and restaurants are allowed to open at 50% capacity throughout September. Bars have remained closed since mid-March as part of measures to slow the coronavirus.

If a bar or other establishment doesn’t abide by coronavirus measures (such as limiting capacity or ensuring physical distancing), it can have its operating permit revoked.

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