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'Transition Period' to Mandatory Proof of Vaccination in Costa Rica

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From December 1, 2021 until January 8, 2022,the Government will begin a 'transition period to normality', allowing 100% capacity in leisure venues, culture, bars, restaurants, hotels, gyms and other types of shops serving the public.

The measure will only be allowed for businesses that guarantee that their customers provide proof of a complete vaccination schedule. In the event that the public does not comply with the requirement, the entry capacity is reduced to 50% and the social distancing measure must be adopted.

From December 1st to January 7th, all establishments must display a visible identification that clearly states whether prrof of vaccine status is required for entry.As of January 8th, proof is mandatory.

The authorities warn that to have a "complete vaccination schedule", it is not enough just to demonstrate the application of the two doses of the vaccine, but also to comply with the period for the inoculation to begin to take effect. This was reported by the authorities of the Ministry of Culture and Youth in a press release.

To consider a "complete vaccination schedule," at least 14 days must elapse from the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca/Oxfordvaccines.

In the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the schedule is considered complete 14 days after the single dose.

Originally set to begin as of December 1, the customers will be required to show their COVID-19 vaccination certificate to enter all social and public activities. The certificate can be obtained online from the Ministry of Health.

Last week the Director of the Ministry of Science and Technology discovered the technical response capacity of the system was overloaded due to the number of people requesting their proof of vaccination QR code. The service was taken offline this weekend to address the issue and "improvements" are planned to be implemented by Monday morning.

As of January 8th, commercial, cultural and leisure establishments will also be required to request the QR code that certifies the fully vaccinated so that people can enter the events or facilities.

Non compliance with the sanitary measures, will result in monetary fines and ultimately, the closure of the premises.

The first time that the establishment fails to comply with this measure, they are subject to a fine worth ¢464,300 and the temporary suspension of the Sanitary Operating Permit and the closure of the establishments for a period of 15 days.

The second time the Sanitary Operating Permit will be suspended for a period of 30 calendar days and the third time the Sanitary Operating Permit will be revoked and the business closed.

According to resolution "MS-DM-8119-2021" it is established that: all those people who wish to enter the following list of establishments with a sanitary operating permit, must have their complete vaccination schedule, other than for the established exceptions, and are required to present the QR code from the vaccination certificate to gain entry.

Establishments under the standard include the following:

Restaurants, sodas, cafeterias and food trucks.
Bars and casinos.
General stores, department stores and shopping centers.
Museums.
Fitness centers.
Hotels, cabins or accommodation establishments.
Spas.
Activities, organizations or congregations in places of worship, which do not apply the provisions of the seventh clause of the resolution.
Event rooms for business, academic or social activities.
Adventure tourism.
Theaters, cinemas, art and dance academies.
Establishments for sports and cultural/artistic activities.
Amusement Parks
For other establishments and activities that are not mentioned in the resolution, their maximum allowed capacity will be 50% and the presentation of the QR code will not be mandatory for entry.

Likewise, the exception is established for children under 12 years of age and people who have a medical condition, duly accredited, that makes it impossible to apply any vaccine approved by the Ministry of Health.

Pura vida....