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Costa Rica
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Reminder: New Costa Rica coronavirus restrictions begin today

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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