New coronavirus restrictions in Costa Rica begin today –

Costa Rica adopted new driving and trade restrictions in its populous central valley on Monday that aim to reduce the contagion of Covid-19 at a time when hospital capacity is saturated in much of the country.

From May 3-9, most non-essential businesses in the Central Valley are to remain closed. Companies outside this zone are not affected by this measure.

In addition, from May 3 to May 31, traffic in the Central Valley will be controlled by a weekday traffic restriction.

The cantons included in the central region are:

  • Province of San José: Acosta, Alajuelita, Aserrí, Curridabat, Desamparados, Dota, Escazú, Goicochea, León Cortés, Montes de Oca, Mora, Moravia, Puriscal, San José, Santa Ana, Tarrazú, Tibás, Turrubares, Vazquez de Coronado.
  • Alajuela: Alajuela, Alfaro Ruiz, Atenas, Grecia, Naranjo, Palmarés, Poás, San Ramón, Sarchí.
  • Cartago: Alvarado, Cartago, El Guarco, Jiménez, La Unión, Oreamuno, Turrialba, Paraíso.
  • Heredia: Barva, Belén, Flores, Heredia, San Isidro, San Pablo, San Rafael, Santa Bárbara, Santo Domingo.

Exceptions to May 3-9 business closures include: supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, grocery stores, caterers, bakeries, butchers, grocers, home delivery, farm supplies, veterinarians and hygiene, banks, funeral homes, hotels and farmers’ markets.

In-person teaching will remain unchanged across the country, as the health ministry cited its benefits for children.

The nationwide night driving ban remains from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The weekday driving restrictions in the Central region for May 3-31 are as follows:

  • Monday: vehicles whose plates end in 1 and 2 cannot circulate.
  • Tuesday: vehicles whose plates end in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.
  • Wednesday: vehicles with plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot circulate.
  • Thursday: vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot circulate.
  • Friday: vehicles with plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot circulate.

Nationwide weekend daytime restrictions (5 a.m. to 9 p.m.) also continue in May:

  • Saturday: vehicles whose plates end with odd numbers cannot be driven.
  • Sunday: vehicles whose plates end with even numbers (including 0) cannot be driven.

The standard list of exceptions to driving restrictions will continue to apply. This includes people driving to / from the airport, to / from a hotel reservation, to / from work and rental cars.

Costa Rica reported 2,609 new coronavirus cases and 911 people hospitalized with Covid-19 on Friday. Many public hospitals now maintain waiting lists for ICU beds.

Costa Rica’s public health system has up to 393 intensive care beds available for Covid-19 patients. As of Friday, 380 intensive care beds across the country were occupied by Covid-19 patients.

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