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Costa Rica promotes Holy Week tourism with mandatory vacation

In an effort to reactivate Costa Rica’s tourism industry, Central Government workers will take mandatory vacations during Easter Holy Week.

The announcement came Thursday after a request from the Tourism Board and is meant to “contribute to the reactivation of the tourism sector and the chains associated with this industry in the rural and coastal communities of the country.”

“The Executive Power will apply a collective closure and grant vacations, on March 29, 30 and 31, which will be reduced from the balances of the civil servants,” said Silvia Lara, Labor Minister.

“Public institutions will take the corresponding provisions so as not to affect essential public services, as well as emergency care.”

Most Costa Rican workers also have April 1-2 off in context of the Easter holiday.

Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week, is typically the busiest vacation week of the year in Costa Rica. Gustavo Segura, the Tourism Minister, asked Ticos to “rediscover” their country by planning vacations.

“I extend an invitation to Costa Rican families to tour Costa Rica with respect for the health measures to prevent Covid-19, because we are still in a pandemic,” Segura said.

The Tourism Minister recommended that Costa Ricans hire certified guides and transportation services in order to make a greater impact on the tourism sector.

Segura also asked tourism companies to offer deals for citizens and residents; the Tourism Board promotes discounts for locals via its Vamos a Turistear platform.

In 2020, Costa Rica applied strict mobility restrictions during Semana Santa in an effort to limit spread of Covid-19. Authorities have not yet detailed measures for Holy Week 2021, but the March restrictions allow for most commercial and tourism activities to operate.

In early March, the government said it wasn’t considering stricter measures during Semana Santa given the progression of the pandemic at the time.

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