On May 11th, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued a new update (version 5) of the general guidelines that affect commercial, residential, and mixed condos in relation to the health alert of COVID-19. It is necessary to indicate that these guidelines are mandatory for all condos in Costa Rica, and will remain in force until they are revoked by the Ministry of Health.

The main changes are the following:

• Gyms can operate at 25% of their user capacity, complying with the protocol of the Ministry of Health for physical conditioning establishments.

• Unbuilt common recreational areas (green areas or sports fields) may be used for contactless sports activities. For recreational purposes, if there are groups, it is recommended that they should be residents of the same affiliate to reduce the possibility of contagion, respecting social distance and not allowing people with symptoms of the flu or cold to enter.

• The pools may be used following the protocols of use that are in this regard.

Common recreational areas of a residential condo

The new guidelines are listed below:

Guidelines for the board of directors or administrators

• Establish a communication channel with tenants, residents, users, or condo owners, in the event that anyone presents any symptom related to respiratory disease or has been close to a suspicious contact, to coordinate with the corresponding health authorities and communicate with the line 1322. It is necessary to remember that the identity of the suspected contact cannot be revealed to the rest of the condo, only to the corresponding authorities.

• Inform by the different means of communication available (WhatsApp groups, bulletins, information boards, etc.) the guidelines and statements issued by the Ministry of Health.

• Communicate the services that will continue to be provided by the operating and maintenance personnel of the condo, as this personnel must apply the social distancing and cleaning protocols.

• Serving providers, tenants/owners, and customers by phone, email, and video call.

• Make sure that the regular meetings, meetings of the Board of Directors, Committees and Assemblies, where applicable, are held virtually (not being possible in all cases); and in the case of face-to-face meetings, respect the 50% capacity and 1.8-meter distance rule.

• The entry of collaborators (maintenance personnel, domestic workers, educational tutors) that the owners require to attend to daily tasks cannot be prohibited; as well as for food, medicine and other goods delivery services.

• It is recommended to label the elevators indicating that only people residing in the same branch go on each trip of the lift, to reduce the possibility of contagion between branches.

• Intensify cleaning and hygiene measures, especially on those areas of common areas and access that are frequently touched (eg. handles, reception furniture, lift buttons, doorknobs, etc.)

• Guarantee that administrative, maintenance and security personnel have protective supplies such as: soap and water, mask, gloves, gel alcohol, disinfectant, disposable towels, etc.

• Post sneezing and coughing protocols, hand washing, other ways of greeting, not touching your face and populations at risk.

• Ensure access to toilet paper, antibacterial soap, disposable towels for hand drying and gel alcohol in public use bathrooms and that they are properly disinfected.

Tenant and landlord obligations

• In the event that someone presents symptoms associated with respiratory disease, contact the administration through the established route.

• In the event that any person has a Sanitary Order issued by the Ministry of Health, follow the guidelines established by said entity.

• Maintain protocols for hand washing, sneezing and coughing, not touching the face as a prevention and containment measure.

• Abide by the social distancing measures promoted by the Ministry of Health, such as staying inside their homes and avoiding physical contact.

• Keep informed about the national situation through official sources https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/

In case you have any questions, do not hesitate to communicate.

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