Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court to rule on legality of vehicle restrictions

QCOSTARICA – Regardless of the fact that vaccination would already allow greater trade openness and fewer restrictions on vehicles, President Carlos Alvarado has so far refused to relax any measure, given the danger of increasing Covid infections- 19.

In this sense, health measures – which have been the government’s main weapon against the pandemic – will continue as long as they remain legal. Or there is sufficient pressure from the private sector.

Read more: Key week for government to define future restrictions

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“The restrictions go hand in hand with the timing of the pandemic we find ourselves in. A week ago the average number of new cases exceeded a thousand infections per day and so far we are recovering hospital capacity.

“I know it’s embarrassing, I know we want to get out of it, but we want to get out of it. I urge that we look at the example of richer, more developed countries, those with a higher level of immunization, but without herd immunity, have led to new waves of pandemics, ”President Carlos Alvarado said.

However, the days of the controversial restriction could be numbered if one considers that the Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court) or Sala IV as it is commonly referred to, has accepted for consideration an unconstitutionality action brought by Otto Guevara, a former candidate for the presidential candidate and currently 2022 presidential candidate. Legislative candidate for the liberal Unión party.

Former presidential candidate Otto Guevara, who is running for a seat in the 2022 Legislative Assembly, is behind the Constitutional Court’s appeal against vehicle restrictions. Image from Twitter

For Guevara, the measure violates the most basic rights of citizens, at the same time as it stifles trade and triggers unemployment.

“We have just taken a big step towards eliminating the restriction on medical vehicles. The Constitutional Court gave effect to the action for unconstitutionality that I brought in favor of the elimination of the restriction of medical vehicles, ”Guevara said last week on his report. Twitter account.

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Businessmen attached to the Chamber of Commerce support the politician’s decision, which calls for greater openness, among other private sector groups, who consider that changing the restriction hours of medical vehicles and allowing businesses – including bars and restaurants – to open until 11:00 pm., would translate into nearly 30,000 jobs.

And, is that the fight against Covid-19 is not won with measures that stifle the economy, but with agile vaccination throughout the country.

Today, unemployment in Costa Rica remains above 17%, while informality has increased by almost 50%.

If health restriction measures are not relaxed, there may be further layoffs, the business sector warns.

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“From different sectors, we have come together to call on the government to demand that the restriction on medical vehicles begin at 11:00 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m. and that it be removed on weekends, as measures that allow us to protect the ’employment and increase sales for many companies in the country,’ said Julio Castilla, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce.

In that sense, extending the vehicle restriction until 11:00 p.m. would mean a 20% increase in sales, an increase in formal employment that would help thousands of families.

“The restriction of medical vehicles is opposed to the objectives of economic recovery, in a context where unemployment has skyrocketed and where parties and clandestine meetings have multiplied, which far from solving the problem, exacerbates it”, a said Jorge Figueroa, President of the Costa Rican Chamber. restaurants.

Editor’s note: on some social networks, restrictions on medical vehicles have been confused with a “curfew” of people who can leave their homes at certain times. Costa Rica has never had such a curfew, people can go out and do so at any time of the day or night, on foot, by bicycle, in public transport (passenger vehicles, taxi, bus) or in an exempt private car as in an emergency or drop-off or pick-up travelers at an international airport, among others.

– Publicity –

About Matthew Berkey

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