One of the major Christmas events is the Festival de la Luz (Lights Fest) organized by the Municipality of San José.
- Municipality of San José courtesy photo
Published Tuesday, August 4, 2020
New Year’s Eve public celebration
among many others banned this year,
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Authorities of the Ministry of Health ban traditional public massive celebrations for the rest of the year in Costa Rica, as a preventive measure to contain the fast expansion of covid-19 in the country.
Following the guidelines of the ministry titled, "Temporary administrative measures for the attention of mass concentration activities due to the health alert by covid-19" all public mass concentration activities are suspended for the rest of the year.
Among the most popular and traditional mass activities banned in Costa Rica are: Christmas, New Year's Eve, the La Luz fest, the cycling competition Vuelta Ciclística a Costa Rica, the popular Zapote fair, the horse parade akak Tope Nacional, the New Year's Carnival, the Children's Museum building Christmas lighting, the Children's Hospital Christmas tree lighting, the public concerts on the central avenue so-called Avenidazo, the Christmas festival of the National Amusement Park, and the respective year-end festivals organized by cantonal municipalities throughout the country, among many others.
According to the ministry, the ban on all these activities is mandatory throughout the country.
"The suspension will be based on the determination of that activity that favors the emergence of a very high number of simultaneous transmission chains or that can occur in a short period, generated from the same event of concentration of people and also promotes the spread of the virus inside and outside the country," the ministry said in its statement.
According to the guideline of the ministry, the specific activities that are banned this year are:
• Any and all activities that attract large crowds such as concerts, public shows, fairgrounds, bullfighting activities, sports events, popular celebrations, fairs in communities, entertainment activities in shopping centers, the International Film Festival, conventions, commercial exhibitions, and the National Arts Festival.
• Also banned are activities such as anything at the Conference Centers, Mélico Salazar Popular Theater (except virtual broadcasts), National Theater (except for virtual broadcasts and guided tours with groups of no more than 10 people), children's playgrounds, skate parks, jumping parks, the Viva Park (except for motor racing without spectators and drive-in cinema), bars, nightclubs, spas, religious peregrinate, gambling and betting activities; like casinos and bingos.
Following the order of the ministry, all the activities mentioned above cannot be rescheduled before January 2021.
"Later that month (January 2021), rescheduling will be done under strict gradual and progressive measures," the ministry said in its guideline.
It is understood, therefore, that if the health emergency for covid-19 is maintained, rescheduling activities with crowds may not be authorized, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, the reference used for informed decision making and risk details for mass meetings guideline during the global covid-19 outbreak was provided by the Government of Canada guideline, "Risk mitigation tool for gatherings and events operating during the covid-19."
The complete guideline of mass events banned this year is available in Spanish on the following link of the ministry’s website.
The Canadian government’s guidelines can be found on the following link of the Canada Health Services website.
The restrictions are intended to contain the rapid spread of the covid-19 virus as well as the increase in deaths in the country.
As of Monday afternoon, the ministry provided the following statistics on the status of the virus in the country:
• 427 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 14,512 active cases. The ages of patients infected range from a three-month-old baby to a 100-year-old person.
• 5,289 foreign-born people have been infected of the 19,402 cases since March, approximately 27% of the total cases.
• 393 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 296 patients are in recovery rooms and 97 are in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.
• 4,689 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 24% recovery rate.
• 62,566 people have been ruled out.
• 94,512 medical covid-19 tests have been made.
• 171 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March. Which is a 0.9% death rate. Of these 63 were women and 108 men.
On Tuesday, July 30, authorities reported 30 foreign-born people had died since March, a total 22% of the dead. However, the ministry confirmed that they will not continue providing information on the number of foreign-born people who die from covid-19 in the country.
Readers can see the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its Covid-19 Map.
As of Monday night, the pandemic has killed 694,233 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
What traditional activity of all the popular Christmas and New Year's Eve events in Costa Rica will you miss most this year? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org