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Costa Rica stresses protocols as cases, hospitalizations increase

Health Minister Daniel Salas on Monday warned of rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Costa Rica, and he reminded Ticos to heed protocols to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

During Epidemiological Week 14, which ended Saturday, Costa Rica added 4,987 new cases, representing 82% more than the previous week (2,743).

Meanwhile, Covid-19-related hospitalizations have doubled over the last 15 days. As of Friday, April 9, there are 412 people hospitalized with the disease — 199 of them in intensive care.

“We have an individual and collective responsibility to flatten that curve that is rising dangerously. Vaccination is advancing, but we need to strengthen preventive measures to let this immunization advance and achieve the necessary protection, especially for the most vulnerable,” Salas said.

Health authorities also indicate the estimated R value in Costa Rica — the average number of people each person with a disease will infect —  has spiked to its highest level since last July.

“For every 10 infected cases 14 more people get sick,” the Presidency said in a statement. This means “an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations is projected in the coming weeks.”

As of April 6, the latest available data, Costa Rica has administered nearly 505,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, representing about 9.8 per 100 inhabitants.

Costa Rica coronavirus measures

Entering the country: Costa Rica is welcoming tourists who arrive via flights (commercial or private), boats (yachts or sailboats), or via the land borders. A negative coronavirus test is not required, but visitors are required to purchase insurance covering their stay in Costa Rica. More info via the Tourism Board.

Tourism activities: All outdoor tourism activities are permitted. All national parks can be open, and beaches can remain open daily from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests are required to wear masks in some outdoors situations, so come prepared. (e.g. you need to wear a mask when purchasing your ticket to a national park, but you can remove the mask when you’re hiking.)

Businesses: The vast majority of businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. This includes restaurants and bars. Masks are required indoors. Activities that are not permitted include: concerts, fairs, nightclubs, large religious processions. The full list of establishments and activities that are not allowed is here.

Driving restrictions: At night (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.), a nationwide restriction continues to be enforced. Weekday restrictions apply in downtown San José only. The typical list of exceptions — which includes rental vehicles, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, and people driving to/from the airport —  continues to apply, including in San José. The official list of exceptions can be found here.

The official site to review all coronavirus measures in Costa Rica is:

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