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Published Monday, June 22, 2020

Phase II of restrictions remains
as cases of covid-19 increase

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Starting today, the country will continue with Phase II of restrictions as a sanitary measure due to the registration of 1,169 cases of active patients with covid-19, announced the Ministry of Health on Sunday.

According to the Ministry, the implementation of Phase III announced last week will not continue, due to the risk of more infections. That means the Phase III of reopening will be delayed until further notice.

No changes have been made to this week’s restrictions. The country continues with the same restrictions that have been ordered since the previous month, as follows:

The nationwide ban on driving, which was applied with the Yellow or Orange Alert remains unchanged.

Cantons with Yellow Alert have a laxer driving ban compared to an Orange alert. Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m., vehicles whose plates finish the following numbers are not allowed on the road:

• Monday: 1 and 2

• Tuesday: 3 and 4

• Wednesday: 5 and 6

• Thursday: 7 and 8

• Friday: 9 and 0

During the weekdays after 10 p.m. drivers can only be on the road when traveling to clinics, hospitals, supermarkets or to work.

On weekends, the ban on driving will be enacted from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., applying to cars whose plates end in the following numbers:

• Saturday: 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8

• Sunday: 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9

The only exception for the weekends with cantons in Yellow Alert are that after 7 p.m. only people driving to clinics, hospitals, supermarkets or to work are allowed.

The Orange Alert applies to cantons and districts, who have a spike in numbers within the past few days for  active covid-19 cases. The ban on driving applies every day, from Monday to Sunday in the following places: Guatuso, Duacarí, La Cruz, Los Chiles, Pococí, Río Cuarto, La Fortuna, Venezia San Carlos, Aguas Zarcas, Cutris, Pital, Pocosol, Gaspar, Curuña, Pacuarito, Reventazón, Upala, Peñas Blancas, Paquera, Alajuelita and Desamparados.

The hours for the ban on driving during the day from Monday to Sunday is from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., to cars whose plates end in the following numbers:

• Monday: 1 and 2

• Tuesday:  3 and 4

• Wednesday:  5 and 6

• Thursday:  7 and 8

• Friday:  9 and 0

• Saturday:  0, 2, 4, 6 and 8

• Sunday:  1, 3, 5, 7 and 9

Because this is a nationwide ban on driving, certain cantons intersect national routes, making those drivers an exception to the rule. The following routes are excluded from the ban:

• Route 1 known as the North Inter-American Route

• Route 6 between Cañas and Upala

• Route 142 between Cañas, Tilarán and La Fortuna,

• Route 702 between San Ramón and La Fortuna,

• Route 18 between Abangares and Nicoya

• Route 32 between San Jose and Limón

Public transportation, such as buses and taxis are allowed to operate as usual.

Commercial business activities continue with restrictions.

The following businesses are allowed to remain open: shops, art academies, events salons, and museums, restaurants, beauty salons, hardware stores, banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, gyms, swimming schools. As long as they maintain the mandatory sanitary measures of 1.8 meters social distancing and only allow the entrance of 50% of the maximum capacity of clients. Hours of operation are allowed from Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

On weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, certain businesses can reopen, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The National Parks will continue with their regular schedules.

Beaches access is allowed from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Hotels and lodging businesses are allowed every day, as long as they maintain 50% of the maximum capacity of guests.

Places of worship, public parks, bars, events of mass concentration will continue to be closed.

It is recommended to inquire with the Ministry about the guidelines that apply for a specific type of business by calling (506) 2223-0333.

Are you for or against the suspension of the reopening of Phase III?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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