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Costa Rica's public sector takes a one-week break

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Published on Friday, March 22, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The majority of Costa Rica's public-sector organizations, for non-essential services, will close for a full week in March from 25 to 29, due to the Holy Week.

This year's seven-day Catholic celebration begins on Palm Sunday, March 24, commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and ends on Sunday, March 31, commemorating Jesus' resurrection, known as Easter Sunday.

Schools, high-schools, public colleges, institutes, public banks, municipalities, some public clinics, Congress, and ministries are some of the public institutions that provide non-essential services. As a result, most employees in these state-owned organizations are entitled to a week's vacation.

The government mandate additionally stated that public services categorized as essential such as electricity, drinking water, public security, public transport and public hospitals, among others, must take the necessary precautions to ensure the continuity of their operations over the holidays.

The full-week break guideline incurs no extra expense to the government treasury because vacation days will be taken from each public employee's current vacation day balance, according to the Labor Law.

The legislation enables private company employees to have two official days off: Thursday, March 28 (Holy Thursday) and Friday, March 29 (Holy Friday). If an employee agrees to work on a paid public holiday, they should be paid twice as much per day as normal.

According to the Tourism Institute, the government's one-week holiday would benefit the tourism industry and related economic regions in the country's rural and coastal cities.

Also, there will be no restrictions on vehicle plate numbers in San Josť City during Holy Week. The regulation has been postponed owing to traffic reductions, which will occur when most public institutions and commercial businesses are closed due to the holidays.

Furthermore, the police announced the "Holy Week Surveillance Operation" to boost security around the country.

Is the government sector in your country taking a whole week off during Holy Week?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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