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On Thursday, President Carlos Alvarado announced that he had scheduled meetings with representatives of the National Union
of Local Governments and the National Association of Mayors and Municipalities to address the demands of the mayors.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo.

Published Friday, August 7, 2020

More mayors call for
business reopening

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Thursday, four mayors of cantons from San José Province requested for the government to allow the opening stage to continue at least until Aug. 15, allowing businesses to continue operating.

“There are already many businesses that are closing operations in our cantons, in turn leaving many people without jobs and in even more unfavorable conditions to attend to the emergency, where some can no longer buy the minimum cleaning and cleaning supplies to maintain sanitary precautions to be able to operate,” said the joint statement from the mayors Rolando Méndez of Coronado, Carlos Cascante of Tibás, Roberto Zoch of Moravia, and Rafael Angel Vargas of Guadalupe.

Among the main demands of the mayors are changing the date of the opening phase until Saturday, Aug. 15, changing the date of the Closing Phase from Aug. 16- 27, allowing vehicle traffic until 8:30 p.m., and reclassifying under Yellow Alert in several districts.

"As mayors, we are very aware that we are going through a difficult health situation in the country and in our cantons due to the pandemic caused by covid-19," said the mayors in their statement. “However, as the municipalities and governments closest to the population, we have also been able to visualize many other serious consequences that the pandemic is causing in our population, from the economic deterioration of citizens and commerce to the increase in the insecurity of territories, the lack of food in many families and the accelerated increase in psychological care that we are having to provide, among many other situations that we are going through.”

The full document detailing petitions presented to the Ministry of Health and National Commission of Emergencies is available in Spanish on the Municipality of Moravia web page.

On Thursday, President Carlos Alvarado announced that he had scheduled meetings with representatives of the National Union of Local Governments and the National Association of Mayors and Municipalities to address the demands of the mayors.

Alexander Solís, President of the National Emergency Commission, among other government representatives, would also be present at this meeting.

This is the second group of mayors requesting for the government to reopen businesses in their cantons.

On Wednesday, the Mayor's Offices of the cantons of Cuidad Colón- Mora, Santa Ana and Escazú, in San José Province, sent a proposal to the government to reopen local businesses, which are closed by government orders due to the covid-19 crisis.

According to the mayor's plan, every company and the general public must follow the strict sanitation guidelines ordered by the Ministry of Health. This order includes the emergency alerts established by the National Emergency Commission, to prevent the spread of contagion.

The proposal was formulated by an interdisciplinary group of municipal technicians and advisers, the mayors said in their joint statement. "The goal is to support the commercial, business, tourism and agricultural sectors of the three cantons so that they can reopen and avoid further closings."

The police forces of the municipalities will be in charge of monitoring compliance with the guidelines ordered by the Ministry of Health, the mayors said.

In addition to the business reopening plan, the mayors requested for the government to extend the driving hours until 10 p.m. "Due to there are many companies that open in the afternoons and it is considered irrational that they have to close at 5 p.m.," they said.

The mayors expect to have a response from the government before Saturday, Aug. 8. The specific date marks the start date of the even more severe phase of business closings, restrictions and ban on driving.

Extensive information on the new restrictions that apply in the Closing Phase, from Monday, Aug. 10 to Friday, Aug. 21, can be found in the article "More regulations in August due to pandemic, the government announces" first published on July 30.

According to the mayors, the reopening plan is supported by almost all businesses from the three cantons.

“We are asking to let us help in managing this emergency," said Arnoldo Barahona, Mayor of Escazú canton. "We are the ones who know the dynamics in our cantons and we are committed to giving full follow-up to the application of these sanitizing guidelines.”

Should the government allow for the reopening of businesses across the country?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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