Authorities ordered drastic measures in the Central Region where most public-facing businesses must remain closed and drivers must comply with
the new driving ban-on-driving rule. - Ministry of Security photo -
Tightened restrictions in Costa Rica due to covid-19
Published Friday, April 30, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Due to the rapid increase in covid-19 infections in Costa Rica, particularly in the Central Region, the government ordered more severe restrictions to suppress a rising infection rate.
According to a report from the Ministry of Health on Thursday, there are 42,572 active cases. Of these, 872 patients are hospitalized.
There were 3,217 covid-19 related deaths as covid-19 related, equivalent to a death rate of approximately 1.3%.
Authorities ordered drastic measures in the Central Region where most public-facing businesses must remain closed and drivers must comply with the new driving ban-on-driving rule.
The region includes the cantons of: San José Centro, Escazú, Desamparados, Aserrí, Mora, Goicoechea, Santa Ana, Alajuelita, Vásquez de Coronado, Tibás, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Curridabat, Puriscal, Tarrazú, Acosta, Turrubares, Dota and León Cortés in San Jose Province.
In addition, the restrictions will apply to the cantons of Alajuela Centro, Poás, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchí, Palmares, Naranjo, San Ramón and Alfaro Ruíz, in Alajuela Province.
In Cartago Province the affected regions include the cantons of Cartago Centro, Paraíso, La Unión, Alvarado, Oreamuno, Jiménez, Turrialba and El Guarco, in Cartago Province.
This alert zone also includes the cantons of Heredia Centro, Barva, Santo Domingo, Santa Bárbara, San Rafael, San Isidro, Belén, Flores and San Pablo, in Heredia Province.
In the aforementioned cantons, from May 3 to 31 the ban-on-driving curfew rule applies from Monday through Friday, allowing driving from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The driving restrictions are 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 curfew will continue throughout the country as follow:
• On Saturdays, driving is allowed from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., vehicles with plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are banned.
• On Sundays, driving is allowed from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., vehicles with plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 are banned.
After 9 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 is on the government website on Covid Vehicles Exceptions.
A fine of approximately $180 for breaking the law remains effective. Due to the new law approved by Congress in October 2020, traffic officials cannot seize the vehicle or its plates and no longer reduce penalty points on the driving license of the driver for breaking the rule.
Cantons not included in the Central Region list should only impose the driving curfew on weekends. Readers can verify the car plate number restrictions by visiting the government website on Covid-19 Vehicle Alert.
The same driving curfew also continues in San José’s capital, known as the Circunvalación Route, which includes all the streets that are found around the city, as displayed in the map below.
Concerning the regulation of businesses in the Central Region, non-essential stores or services attending to the public will not be able to open in one week, from May 3 to 9. Businesses classified as non-essential include stores, beauty salons, barbershops, churches, gyms, among many others.
Businesses offering essential services can remain open, such as pharmacies, clinics, supermarkets, gas stations, among others
Specific rules for businesses located within the Central Region are on the government website Covid Alert Business.
It is recommended to business owners verify the new restrictions for their specific type of business to the Ministry of Health line (506) 2223-0333
A.M. Costa Rica urges readers to share this alert with their contacts.
How is the driving curfew effective in reducing the covid-19 contagion in your community? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org