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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rica coronavirus driving, business restrictions for June 2021 (updated)

The Costa Rican government will continue driving restrictions in response to an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Below are Costa Rica’s coronavirus measures for June 2021 (as of June 4):

Travel and borders

Costa Rica is welcoming tourists who arrive via flights (commercial or private) or boats (yachts or sailboats). A negative coronavirus test is not required, but visitors are required to purchase insurance covering their stay in Costa Rica.

The land borders reopened to arriving tourists in April. Residents and citizens can also enter via land borders.

There are no quarantine requirements in place for anyone who enters the country who is not exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.

For more information, visit the Costa Rica Tourism Board’s official site.

Driving restrictions

Until June 13, there will be a nationwide daytime vehicular restriction based on the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate, per La Nacion.

Below is which vehicles can drive (from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.) based on their last digit:

  • Tuesday, June 1: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Wednesday, June 2: Plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • Thursday, June 3: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Friday, June 4: Plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • Saturday, June 5: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Sunday, June 6: Plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • Monday, June 7: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Tuesday, June 8: Plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • Wednesday, June 9: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Thursday, June 10: Plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • Friday, June 11: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).
  • Saturday, June 12: Plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
  • Sunday, June 13: Plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8).

From June 14 through June 27, the daytime restrictions are as follows:

  • Monday: Plates ending in 1 and 2 do not circulate.
  • Tuesday: Plates ending in 3 and 4 do not circulate.
  • Wednesday: Plates ending in 5 and 6 do not circulate.
  • Thursday: Plates ending in 7 and 8 do not circulate.
  • Friday: Plates ending in 9 and 0 do not circulate.
  • June 19-20: Even plates do not circulate on Saturday and odd plates do not circulate on Sunday.
  • June 26-27: Odd plates do not circulate on Saturday and even plates do not circulate on Sunday.

On June 28, corresponding with the mid-year holidays, the daily odd/even restrictions will resume until at least July 11.

The nighttime driving ban (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) continues unchanged.

The typical list of exceptions — which includes rental vehicles, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, people driving to/from the airport and people driving to/from work — continues to apply. The official list of exceptions can be found here.

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.

Most national parks are limited to 50% capacity.

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 and activities

The vast majority of businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. This includes restaurants and bars.

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.

The permitted capacity of some activities was reduced on May 11:

  • Academic and work events from 300 to 150 people.
  • Social events from 75 to 30 people.
  • Religious events from 300 to 200 people.
  • Bars from 50% to 25% capacity.
  • Hotels that sleep more than 100 people to 75% capacity.
  • National parks to 50% capacity (except for Poas Volcano).
  • Public transport cannot take standing passengers.

As of May 24, public schools have closed and private schools have gone online.

Covid-19 testing requirements

Costa Rica does not require a negative coronavirus test to enter or exit the country. However, many foreign countries (e.g. the United States, Canada) do require a negative test if flying into or transiting through those nations.

More than 100 private labs across Costa Rica offer PCR and/or antigen coronavirus tests. Click here for a list. Note that antigen tests are accepted by the U.S. but are not valid for entry to many countries.

Both Costa Rica airports now offer Covid-19 tests. Click here for more info.

Anyone in Costa Rica who is asymptomatic can purchase an antigen test at a private lab. Prices vary but typically start at about $50.

Samples for PCR and antigen tests in Costa Rica are collected via nasal swabs.

Mask wearing and other measures

Masks are required in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone, or in a private residence. You can be denied entry into an establishment if you are not wearing a mask.

Many businesses require hand washing and/or have implemented temperature checks.

In general, individuals should make every reasonable effort to maintain physical distancing of at least 2 meters from others when in public.

The official site for coronavirus measures in Costa Rica is: https://presidencia.go.cr/alertas.

How to get a vaccine

Costa Rica is vaccinating citizens and residents. The vaccine priority is as follows:

  • First group: Staff and residents at retirement or nursing homes. First responders, including health personnel.
  • Second group: Costa Rica’s older population, defined here as those ages 58 and up. According to the Presidency, this group is required to demonstrate residency with a cédula or DIMEX.
  • Third group: People from 12-58 with risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness, kidney disease and obesity, among others.
  • Fourth group: Teachers and other staff within the Education Ministry (MEP) or private schools. Imprisoned people and judicial staff. Workers for the 911 service.
  • Fifth group: Health science students and related technicians in clinical fields. People ages 40-57 without any of the aforementioned risk factors but whose work puts them in contact with others. Then, all remaining adults and children ages 12 and older.

Vaccines are administered at EBAIS, which are the public-health clinics that comprise part of Costa Rica’s national healthcare system. Each EBAIS manages a list of people who live in their jurisdiction. This list is used to identify priority individuals and to schedule their vaccine appointments.

If you are in one of the priority groups, contact your local EBAIS, make sure they have your information, and confirm you’re on their list.

For EBAIS contact information, and to see what populations your EBAIS is vaccinating, click here.

Covid-19 situation in Costa Rica

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