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Published Monday, June 8, 2020

Restrictions increase
in the northern zone

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Sunday, the Government, through the National Emergency Commission, announced an increase in restrictions for more northern districts, due to the recommendation of the Ministry of Health to contain the expansion of covid-19 in the country.

The restrictions began Sunday night and will continue until further notice. This affects business activity and driving in Guatuso, Duacarí, La Cruz, Los Chiles, Pococí, Río Cuarto, La Fortuna, Venecia, Aguas Zarcas, Cutris, Pital, Pocosol, Llanuras del Gaspar, Curuña, Pacuarito, Reventazón, Upala, Peñas Blancas, Las Juntas, Cañas and Bebedero.

In this region, the ban on driving applies every day, Monday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. at 5 a.m. of the next day, explained Alexander Solís, president of the Commission.

Businesses, in general, will be able to attend to the public every day, from 5 a.m. At 5 p.m.

The commerce restriction schedule does not apply in supermarkets, pharmacies, or so-called Pulperías, small grocery stores and health services related to business.

Restrictions also apply to river accessibility, from Monday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. of the next day. This law applies to the rivers of Medio Queso, Frío, Tortuguero, Colorado, Sarapiquí and San Carlos.

The aforementioned new restrictions do not apply to transport on inter-cantonal routes, such as:

• Route 1, known as Interamericana Norte, between San José and the northern zone.

• Route 6 between Cañas and Upala.

• Route 142 passes through the districts of Cañas, Tilarán and La Fortuna.

• Route 702 between San Ramón and La Fortuna.

• Route 18 between Abangares and Nicoya.

• Route 32, known as the Braulio Carrillo highway, between the provinces of San José and Limón.

The ban on driving in the rest of the country will remain unchanged. During the weekday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., the strict vehicle regulations will remain in place.

The driving ban is implemented to different license plates depending on the day of the week.

• On Mondays, there are no cars permitted with plates ending in 1 and 2.

• On Tuesdays, cars with plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.

• On Wednesdays, plates ending in 5 and 6 must stay off the streets.

• On Thursdays, vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot be active on the streets.

• On Fridays, no plates ending in 9 and 0 can be on the road.

During the weekday, the night ban on driving is from 1 p.m. to 5 a.m of the next day.

The ban differs on the weekends, from Saturday to Sunday. The driving restrictions applies from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., as follows:

• On Saturdays, vehicles whose plates end in 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 cannot circulate.

• On Sundays, vehicles whose plates end in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 cannot circulate.

• On weekends, the nationwide ban is applied to all vehicles, as they should not be on the road from 7 p.m to 5 a.m of the next day.

The border closure will continue until June 30.

Daniel Salas, Minister of Health, said that as part of the facts analyzed in the current national state of emergency, there is a risk of higher vulnerability to covid-19 faced by certain regions of the country due to its geographical location.

"Certain cantons of the national territory that are more vulnerable to the spread of covid-19 due to its proximity or connection to the borders, particularly concerning the country's northern border," Salas said. "Therefore, it is necessary to set precise measures to reduce the risk of exposure and spread in these areas.”

According to Salas, the decision has been made to adapt the most severe restrictions in these sectors to protect the health of the population.

Authorities expanded the restrictions due to the increase in new patients infected with covid-19.

The Health Ministry reported on Sunday 604 active cases, which are those who currently have the virus, in the country.

Authorities provided the following statistics of the evolution of the virus in the country:

• Of the 1,318 infected since the first case was detected in March, 704 coronavirus patients have fully recovered. That is equal to 53% of total recovered patients.

• Of the infected 613 are women and 705 men.

• The ages of those infected range from a three-month-old baby to an 89-year-old, with an average age of 35. Last week, an active case of a five-day-old infant was reported, which resulted in a false-positive diagnosis of covid-19, said the authorities.

• 20 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 16 are in recovery rooms and 4 have been reported in an Intensive Care Unit, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

297 foreigners infected, of these 27 entered the country unauthorized and are jailed in the facilities of the Professional Migration Police in Heredia Province.

• 20,297 people have been ruled out.

• 29,449 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

• 10 deaths have been reported from patients infected with covid-19 since March, one woman and nine men.

The updated number of total patients in each district can be reached at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map.

As of Sunday night, the pandemic has killed 401,933 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

What other measures should the government take to apply in the northern border as a preventative measure from the spread of covid-19?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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