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Costa Rica adds to driving restrictions for Covid-19


In yet another attempt to reduce the chances of residents of San Jose from visiting Guanacaste for the Easter Holiday known as Semana Santa, the government has increased driving restrictions yet again.

The confusion surrounding the most recent rulings are causing a lot of stress for local residents, who rely on vehicles to get to the store daily. It's highly recommended that local residents change their driving habits for the coming two weeks and stock up on essential items.

For those who have farms, and animals to tend to, it is especially confusing.

Beginning today there is no driving from 5pm to 5am. Starting tomorrow it gets really messy.

  • From Friday, April 3 to Tuesday, April 7 there will be an extended night vehicle restriction from 5:00 pm at 5:00 am. (No driving.)
  • Daytime vehicle restriction from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm (from Saturday at 5:00 am). Vehicular traffic will be allowed according to the final number of the respective license plate and only for the purpose of getting groceries and going to the pharmacy for most residents. If you are going to work you need a documant from your employer.

    – Saturday, April 4: vehicles whose license plate ends at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 (Not allowed to drive)
    – Sunday, April 5: vehicles whose license plate ends 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. (Not allowed to drive)
    – Monday, April 6: vehicles whose license plate ends at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8. (Not allowed to drive)
    – Tuesday, April 7: vehicles whose license plate ends 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. (Not allowed to drive)

  • From Wednesday, April 8 to Sunday, April 12 there will be an absolute vehicle restriction. Circulation of vehicles for going to the grocery store, pharmacy, to a medical center, to and from work (with documentation) as follows:

    – Wednesday, April 8: vehicles whose license plate ends in 0 and 1. (allowed but no hours stated)
    – Thursday, April 9: vehicles whose license plate ends in 2 and 3. (allowed but no hours stated)
    – Friday, April 10: vehicles whose license plate ends at 4 and 5. (allowed but no hours stated)
    – Saturday, April 1: vehicles whose license plate ends at 6 and 7. (allowed but no hours stated)
    – Sunday, April 12: vehicles whose license plate ends at 8 and 9. (allowed but no hours stated)

  • NOTE: Assume the restrictions are 5pm to 7am to avoid issues with the Traficos. Failure to comply may result in a fine and loss of 6 points, requiring a license retest. Vehicles may be towed or have their plates removed.

The normal vehicular restrictions will resume on Monday, April 13:for all vehicles from 10 pm to 5 am weekdays and 8 pm to 5 am weekends. This could change later today.

It is important to note that as of today only two elderly adults have died after contracting COVID-19, and 11 people have recovered meaning Costa Rica has 403 active cases in the entire country. With a total population just over 5 million, that is a death rate of .0.4%, which is very low.

In 2018, there were 445 killed in traffic accidents and 585 homicides, so by staying off the roads and staying home we can expect these numbers to drop as well.

The 416 total cases are located in 54 cantons across all seven of Costa Rica’s provinces.

The exceptions to the restrictions are posted below but if you can avoid driving, you avoid problems.