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If the trend of decreasing infections continues and the number of people receiving the vaccine against covid-19 also increases, the country could achieve
the so-called herd immunity in the second half of this year.  - Ministry of Security photo -





















Published Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Weekend ban-on-driving rule
could be canceled in March



By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
 
Due to the decrease in new covid-19 infections as well as the decrease in the number of hospitalized patients in January and February, authorities of the Ministry of Health announced that they could cancel the weekend ban-on-driving rule in March.

"With the epidemiological view that we have seen in recent weeks, in the reduction of cases, hospitalizations and mortality, if this trend continues, we could eventually lift the sanitary vehicle restriction on weekends," Daniel Salas, Health Minister said.

So if the downward trend of covid-19 patients in the country continues, all types of vehicles will be able to circulate on Saturdays and Sundays, from 5 a.m to 10 p.m. as of March 1.

According to Salas, if the trend of decreasing infections continues and the number of people receiving the vaccine against covid-19 also increases, the country could achieve the so-called herd immunity in the second half of this year.

Herd immunity, also known as “population immunity” is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur with some diseases when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So far, the ban-on-driving rule continues for the remainder of February, but for only in San José.

Authorities withdrew the ban-on-driving rule during the weekdays everywhere else, but with exceptions. Regardless of the vehicle plate’s last number, drivers can be on the road during the week, from Monday to Friday, from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.

After 10 p.m. there should be no vehicle on the streets, except for people who travel to authorized places such as the airport, a clinic, work or a hotel, among others. The list of exceptions that allow any vehicle to drive at night are on the government website Covid Exceptions Restriction.

Concerning the zone inside the capital city, known as the Circunvalación route, the ban-on-driving rule remains.



The Circunvalación route, so-called Ruta 39, includes all the streets that are found around the capital city.

In this zone, the ban-on-driving rule continues from Monday through Friday, allowing driving from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. But, vehicles are banned based on the last number of the license plate number:

• Monday: Vehicles banned with plates ending in 1 or 2.

• Tuesday: Vehicles banned with plates ending in 3 or 4.

• Wednesday: Vehicles banned with plates ending in 5 or 6.

• Thursday: Vehicles banned with plates ending in 7 or 8.

• Friday: Vehicles banned with plates ending in 9 or 0.

On weekends, Sundays and Saturdays, the ban-on-driving rule will continue.

• On Saturdays, the drivers can circulate from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Only vehicles with plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are banned.

• On Sundays, driving is allowed from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., vehicles with plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 are banned.

Readers can verify the car plate number restrictions by visiting the government website, Covid-19 Alerta Vehicular

The fine of approximately $180 for breaking the law remains effective. Due to the new law approved by Congress in October 2020, traffic officials can not seize the vehicle or its plates and no longer reduce penalty points on the driving license of the driver for breaking the rule.

----------------------
Should health authorities lift the ban-on-driving rule?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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