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Reminder: New Costa Rica coronavirus restrictions begin today

May 3, 2021

Costa Rica on Monday enacted new business and driving restrictions in its populous Central Valley that are meant to reduce Covid-19 contagion at a time when hospital capacity has been saturated in much of the country.

From May 3 through May 9, most non-essential businesses in the Central Valley must remain closed. Businesses outside of that area are not affected by this measure.

In addition, from May 3-31, circulation in the Central Valley will be controlled by a weekday vehicular restriction.

The cantons included in the Central Region are as follows:

  • San José province: Acosta, Alajuelita, Aserrí, Curridabat, Desamparados, Dota, Escazú, Goicochea, León Cortés, Montes de Oca, Mora, Moravia, Puriscal, San José, Santa Ana, Tarrazú, Tibás, Turrubares, Vazquez de Coronado.
  • Alajuela: Alajuela, Alfaro Ruiz, Atenas, Grecia, Naranjo, Palmarés, Poás, San Ramón, Sarchí.
  • Cartago: Alvarado, Cartago, El Guarco, Jiménez, La Unión, Oreamuno, Turrialba, Paraíso.
  • Heredia: Barva, Belén, Flores, Heredia, San Isidro, San Pablo, San Rafael, Santa Bárbara, Santo Domingo.

Exceptions to the May 3-9 business closures include: supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, grocery stores, caterers, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, home delivery, agricultural, veterinary and hygiene supplies, banks, funeral homes, hotels and farmer’s markets.

In-person teaching will remain unaffected nationwide, as the Health Ministry cited its benefits to children.

The nationwide nighttime driving ban remains from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The weekday driving restrictions in the Central Region for May 3-31 are as follows:

  • Monday: Vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot circulate.
  • Tuesday: Vehicles with plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.
  • Wednesday: Vehicles with plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot circulate.
  • Thursday: Vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot circulate.
  • Friday: Vehicles with plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot circulate.

The nationwide weekend daytime (5 a.m. to 9 p.m.) restrictions also continue in May:

  • Saturday: Vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers cannot circulate.
  • Sunday: Vehicles with plates ending in even numbers (including 0) cannot circulate.

The standard list of exceptions to the driving restrictions will continue to apply. This includes those driving to/from the airport, to/from a hotel reservation, to/from work, and rental cars.

Costa Rica on Friday reported 2,609 new coronavirus cases and 911 people hospitalized with Covid-19. Many public hospitals are now maintaining wait lists for ICU beds.

Costa Rica’s public-health system has up to 393 ICU beds available for Covid-19 patients. On Friday, 380 ICU beds nationwide were occupied by Covid-19 patients.

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