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On certain days of the week vehicles are not allowed to be on the road / Ministry of Security courtesy photo

Published Monday, July 20, 2020

Orange Alert control continues
throughout this month

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff

Due to the speedy increase in infected cases as well as deaths due to covid-19, authorities of the Ministry of Health and the National Commission for Emergencies, make adjustments to the Orange Alert zones that will continue throughout the month, until Friday, July 31.

The updated list of cantons and districts on orange alert 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, and Curridabat.

In Alajuela Province: the alert applies in Alajuela downtown, Poás, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchí, Palmares, Naranjo, San Ramón, 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, 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: Liberia and Cañas.

In Limón Province: Pococí and Guácimo.

In Puntarenas Province: Pavon District at Golfito, Corredores, Garabito, Corredores and Puntarenas downtown (except Cobano, Lepanto, Monteverde, Isla Chira, Caballo, San Lucas, Coco and Venado).

Orange Alert order allows, in the case of business activities that do not directly attend to the public, they can 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 work for any type of business and can continue without restrictions throughout the country.

Public bus services will be able to operate regularly, seating only. No 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 regulations for the weekday ban on driving applies from Monday to Sunday, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. No vehicle is to circulate after 5 p.m. everyday of the week.

On certain days of the week vehicles are not allowed to be on the road if the last number of its plates end in the following numbers:

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.

During weekends, Saturday and Sunday, few vehicles are allowed to be driven between the hours of 5 a.m. to 5 pm.

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.

The vast majority of businesses will not be able to operate during the days of the week, from today to Friday, July 31. The only businesses allowed to open to the public are those offering essential activities.

The so-called "essential activities" were established by the Ministry of Health.

Those essential activities allowed to continue operating are: agriculture, fishing, food industry, sale of medical devices and corresponding parts, production of chemical substances and pharmaceutical products, information and communication technology services.

Companies providing supply chains of materials, and companies that provide services and equipment for the previously mentioned activities are authorized to stay open.

Essential businesses also include supermarkets, suppliers, grocery stores, mini-supermarkets and so-called pulperias. Bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, pharmacies, medical centers, banks and funeral homes are also considered an essential business.

The companies that provide agricultural, veterinary and hygiene supplies, are allowed to remain open for the public.

And any vehicle-related business continues open, such as Obligatory Vehicle Revision Services, known as Riteve RTV, repair of automobiles, equipment and machinery, lubricants, sale of spare parts.

So-called farmer's fairs, or fairs of the farmer vegetable markets, are allowed to open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. These must apply a special schedule for older adults from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

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  “Extended restrictions on Yellow Alert zones.”

The almost immediate restrictions were put in place because of the fast increase of people infected and deaths due to covid-19.

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

563 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 8,086 active cases.

• The ages of infected patients range from a three-month-old baby to a 99-year-old person.

3,210 foreigners have been infected of the 11,114 cases since March, approximately 28% of the total cases.

• 241 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 197 patients are in recovery rooms and 44 are in an Intensive Care Units, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 2,966 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 27% recovery rate.

• 46,990 people have been ruled out.

• 68,775 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

62 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March. Of these, 17 foreigners, one person whose nationality is not yet identified and 44 Costa Ricans. Of the total of deaths, 17 were women and 25 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 605,205 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

What other businesses should be considered essential? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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