Region, COVID-19

Costa Rican government reinforces vehicle restriction and business closures during Semana Santa

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

During the daily press conference, President Carlos Alvarado announced on Wednesday that the vehicle restriction policies will be reinforced during Easter Holy Week, as well as business closures to reduce gatherings during those days. 

The country –which reported a total of 375 cases– is enacting a series of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. These new regulations will be effective on April 3 and will be divided into two periods: from next Friday through Tuesday, April 7; followed by stronger measures from Wednesday, April 8, through Sunday, April 12. 

Vehicle restrictions from Friday, April 3, through Tuesday, April 7

Starting this Friday, April 3, and through next Tuesday, April 7, nationwide sanitary vehicle restrictions will apply from 5pm to 5am the following morning. During this period, no particular vehicles will be allowed to transit. 

In addition, a nationwide daytime vehicle restriction will be enforced based on the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate:

  • Saturday, April 4, and Monday, April 6: only plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 (odd numbers) will be allowed to transit 
  • Sunday, April 5, and Tuesday, April 7: only plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 (even numbers) will be allowed to transit 

Moreover, the government announced that all establishments with sanitary permit to offer in-person customer service will remain closed during those dates, except for food delivery services. 

Finally, long-distance public transportation (75 km or farther) will be restricted in order to prevent mass travel to the coasts and avoid conglomerations. In these cases, only two services will be allowed per day. The only public transportation service that will remain fully active are taxis. 

Vehicle restrictions from Wednesday, April 8th through Sunday, April 12 

For the following days of Easter Holy Week, vehicle restrictions will be stricter. During these five days, restrictions will apply to both vehicles and pedestrians.

Except for specific cases, both vehicle and foot traffic will be suspended. Access to grocery stores, convenience stores, health services and drugstores will be guaranteed, but vehicle transit will only be permitted under the license plate restrictions each day,” announced the Costa Rican government in a press release.

During these days, public transportation will be fully suspended, except for special transportation services for productive activities deemed essential, and, as stated above, taxi services. 

Vehicle transit will only be allowed at any time of the day to access grocery stores, drugstores and healthcare centers. If you need to access these services, you can do it following these license plate restrictions: 

  • Wednesday, April 8: only vehicles with license plates ending in 0 and 1 are allowed to transit.
  • Thursday, April 9: only vehicles with license plates ending in 2 and 3 are allowed to transit. 
  • Friday, April 10: only vehicles with license plates ending in 4 and 5 are allowed to transit.
  • Saturday, April 11: only vehicles with license plates ending in 6 and 7 are allowed to transit.
  • Sunday, April 12: only vehicles with license plates ending in 8 and 9 are allowed to transit.

As stated by President Alvarado, “all of this is to reduce gatherings so that we can keep flattening the curve and protecting each other.”

The measures will apply until next Monday, April 13. On that day the current restrictions will resume.

This article was originally published in Spanish on