Costa Rica orders new shutdown for early May

The Central Valley will be the most significantly affected.

After announcing yet another record of new coronavirus cases, and in context of a public-health system that is at capacity, the Costa Rican government on Thursday announced strict measures for early May.

From May 3-9, most non-essential commercial businesses in the Central Valley must remain closed. There will also be additional daytime driving restrictions in this region.

Businesses outside the Central Valley region will not be affected by these closures. There are also no changes to entry restrictions for tourists.

The “Central Region” is being defined as the following cantons:

  • San José province: San José, 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.

  • Alajuela province: Alajuela, Poás, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchí, Palmares, Naranjo, San Ramón and Alfaro Ruíz.

  • Cartago province: Cartago, Paraíso, La Unión, Alvarado, Oreamuno, Jiménez, Turrialba and El Guarco.

  • Heredia province: Heredia, Barva, Santo Domingo, Santa Bárbara, San Rafael, San Isidro, Belén, Flores and San Pablo.

From the Presidency:

The closure of all establishments with a health permit for the operation of customer service is ordered, save for the list of exceptions of essential establishments, which includes: supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, grocery stores, suppliers, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, home delivery, agricultural, veterinary and hygiene supplies, banks and funeral homes, hotels and farmer’s markets.

Weekday driving restrictions (5 a.m. to 9 p.m.) in the Central Valley region will operate as follows from May 3-31:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot circulate.

  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.

  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot circulate.

  • Thursdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot circulate.

  • Fridays: Vehicles with plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot circulate.

Nationwide, the weekend daytime driving restrictions will continue unchanged:

  • Saturday: Vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) cannot circulate.

  • Sunday: Vehicles with plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) cannot circulate.

The nighttime driving ban will also continue to apply nationwide from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The typical list of exceptions still applies. This includes: driving to/from work, to/from a hotel reservation, to/from a doctor’s appointment, to/from the airport and rental cars.

Read more: The darkest moments of the pandemic have arrived in Costa Rica.

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