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The government ordered a 12-day closure of commercial activities in Orange Alert areas, including Mother's Day, which is considered
the third most important day for commercial activity. 
/AM Costa Rica wire services photo.


































Published Friday, July 31, 2020

Authorities disconnected from the
reality of companies, says Chamber
of Commerce


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce considers that the new regulations announced by the government, that will take effect beginning Aug. 1, have been decisions disconnected from the reality of companies.

The measures announced by the Minister of Health surprise us, they said. Although they are allowing a controlled opening of some districts and cantons that go from Orange Alert to Yellow Alert, they ordered a 12-day closure of commercial activities in Orange Alert areas, including Mother's Day, which is considered the third most important day for commercial activity, the Chamber said in its statement.

Despite the support that the government's economic team has given (to companies), this shows that decisions are not being made with businesses in mind, according to the Chamber. From the point of view of the companies owners, there must be constant planning, which includes the rehiring of workers and all the logistics involved in running a business.

"We consider the 12-day closure is unnecessary," said Julio Castilla Peláez, president of the Chamber. "As a sector, we demand that in these 10 days, with compliance of health guidelines and showing that contagions are not in stores, the opening must be in general in compliance with the current ban on driving rule."

From the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce we understand and have been proactive and supportive of people's health issues and to continue complying with the authorities' guidelines to mitigate the massive spread of covid-19 and avoid more company-deaths and unemployment, said the Chamber in its statement.

The problem arises due to the order to keep most of the businesses and stores closed during the so-called Closing Phase in the declared Orange Alert zones.

The government is expected to respond to the Chamber's complaint during the day.



On Wednesday the government announced a series of additional regulations following the increase of people infected with covid-19 throughout the country.

According to the government, in addition to the restrictions already in place with Yellow Alert and Orange Alert zones, there are two phases put into place starting different dates in August.

The new phases: Closing Phase and the Opening Phase.

The Closing Phase will apply from Monday, Aug. 10 to Friday, Aug. 21. And for the rest of the month, the Opening Phase will apply, with the exception of August 31, which is not included in the new measures announced by the government.

During the days of the Closing Phase, the complete total closure of all public businesses and institutions is ordered in the cantons that have been classified as Orange Alert zones. For those that are in Yellow Alert, businesses and public institutions may operate as long as the covid-19 business hours and the ban on the driving schedule are respected.

During the days of the Opening Phase, all public institutions and private businesses may continue their operations, following the established schedule related to the Yellow Alert or Orange Alert zone and the ban on driving regulation.

Orange Alert order allows, in the case of business activities, to continue their operations from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. They must comply with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, such as maintaining a distance of 1.8 meters between employees, allowing only 50 % of the maximum number of people on the site, among others.

Home delivery services can continue to work without restrictions throughout the country.

Public bus services will be able to operate regularly, seating only. Not allowing people to stand. The Ministry of Health ordered the mandatory use of masks at bus stops.

Red taxis are allowed to continue providing services with no restrictions. In addition, the special transport service for workers or tourism may continue.

The business reopening restrictions depends on the period of the Closing Phase and the Opening Phase.

The full list ( in Spanish) of businesses allowed to reopen during Closing Phase can be found at the following link  Covid Alert for Business during Closing Phase on Orange Zones site.

Also, the full list ( in Spanish) of businesses allowed to reopen during Opening Phase can be found at the
Covid Alert for Business during Opening Phase on Orange Zones site.


For more information on the new restrictions in declared zones as Orange Alert checkout AM Costa Rica’s article: "More regulations in August due to pandemic, government announces".

The rest of the country will remain on Yellow Alert. The restrictions on businesses and driving ban schedules can be found in the following article's link  “More restrictions on August for Yellow Alert zones”.





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Are you for or against the new government regulations due to the pandemic crisis? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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