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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Some COVID-19 Restrictions in Costa Rica to be Lifted as of April 1st

This Friday, April 1st, some of the restrictions established to counteract the effects of covid-19 will be lifted in Costa Rica. The situation in the country has stabilized, with a significant decrease in the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Since March 7th, the government eliminated the sanitary vehicle restriction by license plates, consequently removing the requirement to present letters of exception to this measure.

Now only the pre-pandemic restriction remains, which applies only to the central area of San José and Circunvalación on a weekday, depending on the number of license plates.

Operating limits for commercial establishments also returned to their usual hours; and for residents and nationals, the health pass for those entering the country was eliminated. In addition, foreigners no longer had to undergo rigorous checks.

Similarly, as of today, all activities and events can operate at full capacity without requiring the use of QR Code or proof of vaccination. This includes businesses, restaurants, gyms, churches and houses of worship, university classrooms, event halls and any place where services are provided to the public.

Also, the health pass to enter the country for non-nationals is abolished. As mentioned before, the requisite was not mandatory for nationals and residents since the begging of March.

It is very important to mention, unvaccinated foreigners, or those who were inoculated with a vaccine that is not recognized in the country, will no longer be required to pay insurance in order to enter and remain in Costa Rica.

On the other hand, other measures will persist until further notice from the Ministry of Health and other governmental authorities.

For instance, face masks are still obligatory in enclosed areas. President Carlos Alvarado mentioned there is a plan to eradicate this stipulation; nonetheless they are waiting until health experts confirm it is safe to do so.

Additionally, a full vaccination scheme for minors and public employees is mandatory. For now, the scheme consists of two doses. In the near future, it is likely three shots will be needed to consider a person completely immunized.

Regarding those who tested positive a health order will still be issued, but it will only last seven days from the first day of symptoms. This extends to contacts who do not have all three doses of the vaccine; unless they are not four months past their second dose, as they cannot receive the third dose before then.

Ordinary measures such as washing hands before entering establishments or activities, are still on.

Finally, the Costa Rican government still maintains the recommendation, for both public and private institutions, to keep the employees working from home, when possible.

Authorities advise staying home for all those who feel sick and, if appropriate, to get tested to rule out a COVID-19 infection. Although some limitations remain, it seems like Costa Rica is slowly and progressively returning back to normal. Hopefully, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths will continue to decline and will allow to fully return to the life before the pandemic

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