Today, September 15, NOT a public holiday in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA – Although many activities are taking place today, September 15, to commemorate Costa Rica’s 201 years of independence, it is NOT a legal holiday for public and private sector workers.

Children proudly carry Costa Rican flags during Independence Day celebrations. Photo: Gary Burchett

The statutory public holiday will be Monday, September 19. This is due to a law approved in 2020 which moved 16 public holidays to the following Mondays in a bid to encourage local tourism at a time when the country was hit hard by the pandemic.

Initially, the plan was presented thinking of moving the holidays from Monday to Thursday to Friday. Admittedly, after several negotiations between banks, it was modified around Monday, but the plan remained the same: to guarantee three contiguous days of vacation for tourists, which implied a minimum of two nights of accommodation.

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Read more: The Torch of Independence is already in Costa Rica!

“As legislators, we must ensure that the consequences in the economy and the sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic are overcome as soon as possible by our economic sectors, this reactivation must be accompanied by national strategies to encourage the nationals and foreigners to return to visit tourist areas and get the sector out of the serious crisis in which it finds itself”, reads the text promoted in 2020 by former legislator Roberto Thompson.

The transfer from September 15 to Monday was made in the years 2020, 2021 and this year.

For 2023 and 2024, the law does not provide for the transfer of this public holiday to the day it falls on the calendar.

In 2020 and 2021, this did not have a major impact because the first year the country remained under strict movement restrictions and the world still did not have a vaccine against covid-19 that would allow the free movement of people and vehicles.

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Meanwhile, in September 2021, the country recorded nine months of vaccination campaign, although there were no student parades to avoid a spike in cases.

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