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New Driving Restrictions following Easter Sunday

Costa Rica
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While many had hoped things would get back to normal here in Guanacaste, following the Semana Santa holiday, it has now been officially announced that we can expect driving restrictions to remain in place until at least April 30th.

In the never ending attempt to confuse the public with driving restrictions and the threats of fines, the government has announced the new restrictions to begin Monday following Easter Sunday.

Yet again the rules and hours have changed, and the fines increased. Driving during restricted hours will cost you 110,000 colones, or about $195 USD.

There are several charts floating around on social media that show the wrong dates for restrictions, so people who plan to drive should confirm when they are allowed to drive by checking the following website and entering the last number of their licence plate. https://larestriccion.com/

A summary of the restrictions are here.

Daytime driving restrictions

The following vehicle plate restrictions will be in effect between the hours of 5am and 7pm daily.:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Saturdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number can drive to supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and health centers only.
  • Sundays: Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number can drive to supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and health centers only.

Drivers who violate these restrictions will be fined 110,000 colones (about $195).

Nighttime driving restrictions

A total vehicular restriction, with a few exceptions, will be in effect nationwide every night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning, every day.

The full list of valid exceptions for nighttime driving are listed here. They include people transiting to work or to a health center and proof must be provided. We recommend you avoid driving after 7pm to avoid any misunderstandings.

Business Restrictions

There have been no further updates on when we can expect business to get back to normal, although everyone hopes this will happen before April 30th.

The government needs to realize that people need money for food and rent, and keeping things shut down until April 30th means many will not be paying rent on May 1st.

This is also true for businesses who rent their properties. Most also need time to get restocked prior to opening. Without a start up date, it may take additional time for business to call people back to work. You can't sell what you don't have.

The sooner these restrictions are lifted, the better for the smaller communities throughout the country. People can still practise social distancing and washing their hands excessively, if it means they can make some money, put food on the table and pay their bills like back in the old days before the Covid-19 plague.