Complete Guidelines for the Application of Epidemiological Barrier throughout the Greater Metropolitan Areas (GAM) as Issued by the Authorities

Total vehicle restriction and total closure of non-essential establishments for five days, from Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 17, apply to all cantons on an orange alert, both inside and outside the GAM.

On weekends (July Saturday 11 and Sunday 12, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19) a vehicle restriction will apply throughout the country from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm for access to establishments authorized by the Ministry of Health according to the type of yellow or orange alert.

The Minister of Health stressed that every one of us has the mission of carrying out preventive measures and avoiding unnecessary mobilization, to lower the rate of infections.

The epidemiological situation facing our country merits that the authorities establish an orange alert and an epidemiological barrier throughout the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) as a measure to contain cases and recover the contact trace process for COVID-19 infections.

This was announced at a press conference by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado; the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas; the Minister of National Planning and coordinator of the economic team, Pilar Garrido; and the president of the National Emergency Commission (CNE), Alexander Solís.

The complete list of cantons and districts on orange alert: 

Province Cantons San José GAM: San José, Escazú, Desamparados, Aserrí, Mora, Goicoechea, Santa Ana, Alajuelita, Vásquez de Coronado, Tibás, Moravia, Montes de Oca and Curridabat.

Outside GAM: Puriscal Alajuela, Alajuela, Poás, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchí, Palmares, Naranjo, San Ramón and Zarcero, Upala, Guatuso, Los Chiles, Southeast Sector of La Fortuna district of San Carlos (Tres Esquinas, Los Ángeles, Sonafluca, La Perla, San Isidro, El Tanque, San Jorge, Santa Cecilia, La Vega and Bonanza in the Florence district of the San Carlos Canton.

Cartago GAM: Cartago, Paraíso, La Unión, Alvarado, Oreamuno and El Guarco. Heredia GAM: Heredia, Barva, Santo Domingo, Santa Bárbara, San Rafael, San Isidro, Belén, Flores and San Pablo. Guanacaste: Bagaces, Liberia, Carrillo and Cañas. Lemon Pococí, Talamanca and Guácimo. Puntarenas Golfito, Garabito, Puntarenas (except the districts of Cobano, Lepanto, Monteverde, Isla Chira, Isla Caballo, Isla San Lucas, Isla del Coco and Isla Venado) and Corredores.

Weekend restrictions: (Saturday 11, Sunday 12, Saturday 18 and Sunday, July 19)

Vehicle circulation: From 5:00 am to 5:00 pm only for authorized establishments. Except for the list of exceptions, the following do not circulate:

        Saturdays: 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8

        Sunday: 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9

Establishments enabled on weekends in:

Orange alert cantons: supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, grocery stores, suppliers, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, home service, home food service, agricultural, veterinary and hygiene supplies, banks, funeral homes, farmer’s fairs with differentiated fringe for older adults from 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Cantons on yellow alert:

Beauty salons, places of worship, beaches from 5:00 am to 9:30 am, hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, cinemas and theaters at 50% capacity, farmer fairs with a differentiated strip for adults older than 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., among others.

Weekday restrictions: (Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 17)In the orange alert cantons:

Total vehicle restriction of 24 hours, except for access to supermarkets, pharmacies, and health centers. Only the following plates may circulate: Monday: 1 and 2, Tuesday: 3 and 4, Wednesday: 5 and 6, Thursday: 7 and 8, Friday: 9 and 0. Public transport may operate up to 20%. Taxi service and special service for workers are enabled.

The only establishments enabled to operate are:

1. Essential productive activities (Agriculture, fisheries and food industry, medical devices and their parts, production of chemical substances and pharmaceuticals, information and communication technology services and contact center operations that support essential activities inside and outside of the country). The foregoing includes the supply chains of materials, services, products, and equipment essential for such activities.

2. Supermarkets, suppliers, grocery stores, and mini-supermarkets, only those corresponding to the section for the sale of food, beverages, groceries, cleaning and hygiene supplies, and basic needs.

3. Bakeries, butchers, and greengrocers.

4. Pharmacies and medical centers.

5. Home service (exclusive for food, pharmacy, veterinary, hardware, and locksmith).

6. Agricultural, veterinary and hygiene supplies.

7. Funeral homes.

8. Centers of the network of child care and development and Centers of care for people in vulnerable conditions.

9. Hotels that provide accommodation services to public administration officials or public service providers (banking, transportation of values, communications, electricity) or are people who are working in the distribution service of merchandise or food items and first need, medicines, agricultural or veterinary supplies.

10. Farmer’s fairs, with a differentiated strip for older adults from 5:00, am to 8:30 am.

The list of exceptions to the vehicle restriction is reduced to essential productive activities, establishments authorized by the Ministry of Health and basic services.

Public institutions must maximize Telework and maintain in-person exclusively those essential operational services, as well as those required for emergency care. The rest of public servants should apply accumulated vacations or advance of vacations.

“The objective of these closure measures is to recover the contact trace capability of the infections, that is not going to be achieved immediately, but what we seek is to have that vital tracking for health management again. In this objective, we all have a mission: preventive measures and avoid mobilization,” said Daniel Salas, Minister of Health.

Mr. Alexander Solís Delgado, president of the National Risk Prevention Commission (CNE), indicated in a press conference that “for the success of these measures, it is necessary to unite efforts, so that, as a whole, the community, local governments, private companies, and institutions reinforce the plans to reduce risk and compliance with measures.”

For her part, Minister Pilar Garrido Gonzalo stressed that “epidemiological indicators show that we must carry out a forceful closure measure to protect life, health and the productive fabric. We will apply the restrictions now, to mitigate the net economic impact of the Pandemic”.

In the rest of the country (cantons on yellow alert):

Vehicular circulation will be from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm, with ordinary license plate distribution and a complete list of exceptions (all productive activities and work centers).

Establishments with sanitary operating permits may open regularly from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm, depending on the reopening phases in force. The operation of places of worship with a maximum of 75 people, beaches from 5:00 am to 9:30 am, hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, cinemas, and theaters are maintained at 50%, farmer fairs with a differentiated strip for older adults from 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., among others.

Public transport is maintained regularly, taxis and special transport for workers and tourism. Vehicle restriction differentiated border areas: The differentiated vehicle restriction is maintained, in the border areas, from Monday to Sunday from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am at the Cantons: La Cruz, Upala, Guatuso, Los Chiles, San Carlos, Aguas Zarcas, Cutris, Pital, Pocosol and Venecia. In addition, the Southeast Sector of La Fortuna District of San Carlos (Tres Esquinas, Los Ángeles, Sonafluca, La Perla, San Isidro, El Tanque, San Jorge, Santa Cecilia); and La Vega and Bonanza in the Florence district. Districts of Llanuras de Gaspar and Curuña of the canton of Sarapiquí. Pacuarito and Reventazón districts of the canton of Siquirre. The districts of La Rita, Roxana, Cariari and Colorado of the Canton of Pococí. Duacarí district of Guácimo canton. Canton of Corredores. Districts of Sabalito and Agua Buena of the Canton of Coto Brus. The canton of Río Cuarto will no longer be subject to the differentiated vehicle restriction.    

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