Beginning this week, the government of Costa Rica has announced that the quarantine measures could be relaxed for two weeks, only in some activities. Maintaining the basic measures issued by the World Health Organization.

Some of the establishments such as cinemas and gyms, which were closed during the quarantine last month as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus, will be reactivated with certain restrictions.

These measures were confirmed by the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, who announced the partial resumption of activities with steps that guarantee social distancing, this after two weeks of marked reduction in COVID-19 infections.

Relaxing of measures

This relief came into force as of May 1st, and on May 11th there will be an official evaluation to analyze whether its vigor can be extended or, conversely, if it is rolled back in the event of contagion cases increasing.

Health Minister Salas commented: “When we go to public places, which we are going to enable, you have to maintain distance and hygiene measures,” Salas said at a press conference. For his part, President Carlos Alvarado warned that “we have had a relative but fragile success”, so he warned that the easing of the restrictions could be rolled back.

Cinemas and theaters will be able to operate during the week with a distance of two meters between each spectator, while gyms and swimming pools will be able to reopen at 25% of their capacity.

What other establishments will re-open?

Beauty salons and barbershops may operate at 50% of their capacity and may only attend by appointment. Similarly, restaurants currently operate at a 50% capacity cap, which will continue.

The establishments and places that will continue to be closed are bars and discos. On-campus education will continue to be suspended, although they continue with distance learning, where there are technological conditions. Religious services continue without authorization to resume. Also, beaches and parks are still closed.

President Alvarado indicated that work activities that can be done by telework must be maintained. For his part, Minister Salas cited mathematical studies that indicate if the population lets down its guard in the face of the Pandemic, in mid-July more than 30,000 active cases of COVID-19 would emerge, which could exceed the capacity of the units of our health services.

However, the President congratulated the population for complying with the sanitary measures that led to reducing the level of contagion but asked to maintain the rules of hygiene and social distance to avoid a rebound.