Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Costa Rica extend and expand entry and internal movement restrictions through April 30.

This alert affects Costa Rica

This alert began 11 Apr 2020 22:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: International and internal transport disruptions, significant business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Costa Rica extended and expanded the restrictions on entry and internal movement through April 30. The order also requires bars, theaters, gymnasiums, and beaches to remain closed. Authorities have asked all those who can telecommute to do so.

The order further extends the ban on the entry of nonresident foreigners through at least April 30. Residents and foreigners who enter are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Additionally, noncitizen residents who leave the country while the restrictions are in place will be prohibited from reentering until at least May 1.

Beginning April 13, the following restrictions on vehicular travel will be in place:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 may not be driven 0500 to 1900.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 may not be driven 0500 to 1900.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 and 6 may not be driven 0500 to 1900.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 may not be driven 0500 to 1900.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 may not be driven 0500 to 1900.
  • Saturdays: No vehicles may be driven 0500 to 1900 except to transport people to essential businesses such as supermarkets or pharmacies. Vehicles with license plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 may not be driven 0500 to 1900 for any reason.
  • Sundays: No vehicles may be driven 0500 to 1900 except to transport people to essential businesses such as supermarkets or pharmacies. Vehicles with license plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 may not be driven 0500 to 1900 for any reason.


Taxis and cargo vehicles are exempt from the order.

A previously announcement mandating that no vehicle with a license plate ending in 8 or 9 may be driven throughout April 12 remains in effect.

Authorities may take additional measures, especially if the spread of COVID-19 continues. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with a larger than usual police presence on the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Costa Rican government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Ministry of Health of Costa Rica: www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr