CRC Daily: Costa Rica news to start your week

Costa Rica grapples with the coronavirus as the tourism high season approaches.

Welcome to the first issue of The Costa Rica Daily!

In The Daily, you get the Costa Rica news you need to know, when you need to know it. We’re a no-clickbait service (we dislike it as much as you!) and there are no intrusive ads. Let’s dive right in.

Costa Rica news for Monday, November 23

Like many other countries, Costa Rica imposed strict measures earlier this year as the coronavirus spread worldwide. In the most extreme examples, the government temporarily forbade arriving tourists, imposed a nationwide driving ban and closed non-essential commercial businesses.

While most measures have been lifted, COVID-19 has led to a significant economic crisis. The pandemic and associated restrictions caused record unemployment, tanked government revenue and forced authorities to consider a controversial loan from the International Monetary Fund.

As of Friday, the latest data available, Costa Rica has announced 1,608 coronavirus-related deaths, and 60% of the country’s ICU beds for COVID-19 patients are occupied.

However, Costa Rica is not considering significant new restrictions, Health Minister Daniel Salas told Teletica, citing the need to maintain the tenuous economic reactivation.

This means you can expect the country to continue its “Costa Rica Works and Protects Itself” strategy based heavily on individual responsibility. Air borders remain open for tourists, beaches and national parks remain open, restaurants remain open, and so on.

That’s important news as the tourism high season approaches. While 2020 certainly won’t be as busy as 2019, more airlines are adding flights to Costa Rica, including Alaska Airlines last week. The airline serves both international airports from Los Angeles.

Still, Costa Rica remains mired in difficult conversations regarding its economic future. While the government plans to cut costs, that alone won’t fully solve the country’s financial crisis — and nearly half of the country’s workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.

We’ll dive more into all of these topics — the coronavirus vaccine in Costa Rica, the economic crisis, the impacts of fewer tourists — in upcoming editions of The Daily.

For today, we leave you with these handy links:

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