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Published Monday, July 13, 2020 

More changes on restrictions
to be released
on Sunday

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff

The increase, continuity, or lifting of the declared Orange Alert for the Greater Metropolitan Area and some rural areas will be announced on July 19, the authorities said.

The Greater Metropolitan Area, GAM by its acronym in Spanish, includes cities englobed in the conurbation of San José,  Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago provinces.

Due to the increase in covid-19 infections, the authorities of the Ministry of Health, the National Commission for Emergencies and the Ministry of National Planning, declared Orange Alert throughout the GAM and some rural areas as a measure to contain the spread of the virus in the country.

The Alert came into effect on Saturday and will continue until Sunday July 19, which is the day authorities will give further details on the state of covid-19 in the country. This announcement will detail how much longer Orange Alert will be in place.

The places with Orange Alert by province are:

In San José Province the Cantons are: San José downtown, Escazú, Desamparados, Aserrí, Mora, Goicoechea, Santa Ana, Alajuelita, Vásquez de Coronado, Tibás, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Curridabat and Puriscal.

In Alajuela Province the alert applies in: Alajuela downtown, Poás, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchí, Palmares, Naranjo, San Ramón, Zarcero, Upala, Guatuso, Los Chiles, the southeast sector of La Fortuna de San Carlos in the districts of Tres Esquinas, Los Ángeles, Sonafluca, La Perla, San Isidro, El Tanque, San Jorge, Santa Cecilia, La Vega and Bonanza in La Florencia district of Cantón San Carlos.

In Cartago Province: Cartago downtown, Paraíso, La Unión, Alvarado, Oreamuno and El Guarco.

In Heredia Province: Heredia downtown, Barva, Santo Domingo, Santa Bárbara, San Rafael, San Isidro, Belén, Flores and San Pablo.

In Guanacaste Province: Bagaces, Liberia, Carrillo and Cañas.

In Limón Province: Pococí, Talamanca and Guácimo.

In Puntarenas Province, Golfito, Garabito, Puntarenas downtown and Corredores.

The ban on driving applies to all 24 hours during weekdays, from Monday through Friday. Driving is only allowed for access to supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers. But, there are restrictions in place for driving even if it is for exceptional purposes.

Vehicles are allowed to be on the road if the last number of its plates end in the following numbers on specific days:

On Monday plates ending in 1 or 2.

On Tuesday plates ending in 3 or 4.

On Wednesday plates end at 5 or 6.

On Thursday plates ending at 7 or 8.

On Friday plates ending in 9 or 0.

Red Taxis can continue providing transport services without any kind of restriction.

During weekends, Saturday and Sunday, the ban on driving applies from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.

Although driving is allowed only to access the aforementioned businesses authorized to operate, there are strict driving restrictions in place from Saturday to Sunday:

Vehicles cannot be driven on Saturday with license plate numbers ending in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8. On Sunday, vehicles with license plates ending in numbers 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 are banned.

In the areas declared in Orange Alert, most of the businesses and public institutions should remain closed. There are some exceptions detailed in the article, Business allowed in the Orange Alert zones.”

Restrictions were ordered due to the fast increase of people infected with covid-19.

As of Sunday afternoon, the ministry provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

365 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 5,327 active cases.

• The ages of infected patients range from a three-month-old baby to a 96-year-old person.

2,243 foreigners have been infected of the 7,596 cases since March, approximately 29% of the total cases.

• 140 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 113 patients are in recovery rooms and 27 are in an Intensive Care Units, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 2,239 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 29% recovery rate.

• 40,118 people have been ruled out.

• 57,745 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

• 30 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March. Of these seven were foreigners, one person whose nationality is not yet identified and 22 Costa Ricans. Of the total of deaths 12 were women and 18 men.

Readers can reach the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map

As of Sunday night, the pandemic has killed 569,128 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Should the government extend the Orange Alert along the border zones?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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