Supervision of commercial premises and activities will be intensified, as well as sanitary vehicle restriction operations in Costa Rica. During the first 7 days of 2022, 11,999 infections were registered, practically the same figure accumulated during the final 61 days of the previous year (that is, all of November and December), when there were 12,200 positive cases.
Faced with this increase, which coincides with the arrival of the Omicron variant in the country, the Government announced the need for rapid and concrete actions to face the challenge of the speed of contagion represented by the variant, which has caused them to spikes of infections are up to 5 times higher.
For these reasons, as of Tuesday 11th there will begin a series of measures in the areas of sanitary restriction, massive events, intensification of operations, capacity in public transport, among others, for the next two weeks. In this line, the authorities of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) warned a few days ago that the primary care and hospitalization services could be saturated in a few weeks if the accelerated increase in new Covid-19 cases continues due to the omicron variant that circulates in all the country.
According to calculations by the CCSS, it could reach 5,000 cases per day as of the second week of January, doubling the highest levels of new cases per day reached during the entire pandemic.
Due to this situation, from Tuesday, January 11th to Sunday, January 23rd, the actions to slow down the curve and avoid hospital saturation will be:
Sanitary vehicle restriction: from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., also the daytime on weekdays will continue to apply only to the San José ring roads. In the same way, in coherence with the sanitary vehicle restriction, the operating hours of establishments with sanitary permission for attention to the public will be until 10:00 p.m. from Mondays to Sundays.
Suspension of massive events with the presence of public: From January 11th to 23rd, cultural and sporting events must be held without public, otherwise they must be suspended. Cinemas, theaters, academic activities and places of worship remain in operation, with application of sanitary protocols.
Bus service: Regarding the capacity of people standing on public buses, from January 11th to 23rd a maximum of 20 standing people will be allowed.
Intensification of operations: The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Security will intensify the supervision of control of compliance with sanitary protocols and applicable gauges. Likewise, operations will be carried out to control compliance with the sanitary vehicle restriction.
Vaccination: Costa Rica received the first batch of child vaccines 3 days ago, containing the first 48,000 pediatric doses that will allow the initiation of childhood vaccination, allowing vaccination to begin in boys and girls from 5 to 12 years old across the country, starting with girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12.
In addition, the country has already started the application of the third dose (booster) to all people over 58 years of age. The authorities made a new call for people who have not started their vaccination schedule or have it incomplete, come to the vaccinations to complete their immunization.
Self-tests: Since December 24, 2022, the general guidelines for the use of screening self-tests for COVID-19, which provide the procedure and requirements for the application for import authorization of self-tests, have already been in force. On January 7th, the first authorization for the importation of COVID-19 self-tests was carried out. It is important to indicate that in case of testing positive, the person must be isolated and verified with a PCR test.
Teleworking: The teleworking guideline in public institutions is maintained under the basic operating plan, except for essential services, customer service offices, regional offices and emergency care. Likewise, a call and exhortation are made to the private sector to apply telework measures as far as possible due to the current contagion scenario.