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Costa Rica says coronavirus measures continue in October

September 30, 2020

President Carlos Alvarado and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Tuesday  announced Costa Rica’s coronavirus measures will continue in October.

The current measures, which permit for most economic activity to operate with some restrictions, will apply throughout all of October.

“During the month of October we will continue with the measures that we have operated through most of September,” President Alvarado said.

Here’s what that means:

Most commercial activities allowed

Most commercial establishments can remain open nationwide, including in Orange Alert areas. Capacity limits and other distancing rules are typically mandated.

However, some activities and businesses still cannot operate. This includes mass-gathering events, bars and casinos, among others. (Bars can operate as restaurants.)

If a canton in an Orange Alert cannot or does not establish a “Prevention Plan” to respond to the area’s coronavirus spread, health authorities may establish localized restrictions that permit for only essential activities.

The general public must continue wearing masks in public, respecting physical distancing and avoiding unnecessary exposure to others.

Vehicular restrictions continue

The vehicular restrictions will continue throughout October.

On weekdays, driving is permitted from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekends, driving is permitted from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Saturdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers cannot drive.
  • Sundays: Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers cannot drive.

As is customary, there are many exceptions to the driving restrictions. These include: People driving to/from work, people driving rental cars, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, people driving to/from the airport, and people driving to/from a medical appointment. (Drivers will be asked for proof if stopped by Traffic Police.)

Cantons in an Orange Alert

Click here for an interactive map of Orange/Yellow Alert cantons in Costa Rica.

Other items of note

  • The Costa Rican Presidency has created this Spanish-language site with official documentation of the current restrictions.
  • Generally, establishments can remain open in accordance to the day’s vehicular restrictions (i.e. until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends).
  • Beaches are allowed to open daily until 2:30 p.m. in all locations. (Some municipalities have chosen to close their beaches or further limit hours.)
  • Open-air tourism activities are permitted until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends.
  • Most National Parks are open, regardless of the location or phase.
  • Driving to/from a non-traditional accommodation (e.g. an AirBnB) will qualify for an exemption to the vehicular restrictions.

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