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    Ministry of Health authorizes that Bars, Canteens, and Taverns Temporarily Become Sodas and Restaurants

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    They have been closed for almost six months, since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Bars, canteens, and taverns may transform their operations to become sodas and restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic, as authorized by the Ministry of Health on September 1st. “The Ministry of Health has issued a temporary resolution which allows the conversion of bars, taverns, and canteens into the activity of sodas, restaurants and coffee shops,” said the general director of Health, Priscilla Herrera.

    “This will be effective when the establishment makes the request, meets the requirements, and sends them to the email addresses that are published on our website,” she added. The owners of these premises will not need any permission from the ministry, but this will be considered fulfilled once the documents are sent. In case of non-compliance, Health assured that it will proceed to intervene in those premises.

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    The sale of liquor will be authorized in the same way it is in restaurants, according to the Health officials, as long as the establishments have the patent.

    The Ministry of Health also clarified that this change will apply as of this September 1st and will be in force only during the COVID-19 Pandemic, due to the economic impact that bars have suffered.

    Since the start of the Pandemic, these establishments have not been able to open. This means that they have been without activity for almost six months, something that generates anguish according to the workers themselves.

    “I would like to stay home for a year, but I can’t. I would like to see what happens when a child tells you “I want to eat.” My son needs milk, I have bills for the house, I pay rent and they call to collect. But where do I get it from?” said Andrés Chacón, bartender at the Refugio bar in Escazú.

    The requirements of the Ministry of Health to carry out the reconversion of the establishment are the following:

    1. The establishment must have a valid health operating permit.

    2. The request must be made by the permit holder by email from the respective Health Governing Area. The list of e-mails is on the website of the Ministry of Health in the file: “Telephone and Post Office of the Governing Areas” available at the following link:      https: //www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/index.php/tramites- ms / permits-to-ms-establishments

    3. The application must contain a commitment to comply with and respect the requirements, guidelines and protocols issued by the authorities for the operation of restaurants, sodas and coffee shops.

    4. An affidavit that the establishment meets the requirements to function as a restaurant, soda and cafeteria.

    5. An authorization for the health authority to immediately close the business establishment if it is determined that it does not meet the requirements to function as a restaurant, soda and cafeteria or if it did not respect the requirements, guidelines and protocols issued by the authorities of health for this type of establishments.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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