People with COVID-19 Isolation Order Can Only Go Out to Seek Medical Attention

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The Ministry of Health of Costa Rica updated this Friday March 20,  the “General guidelines for home isolation for Costa Ricans, residents and diplomats who enter the country due to the health alert for Coronavirus (COVID-19)” and they eliminated the exit permit to buy food or medications.

Thus, the more than 3,000 people who have received a health order since the closing of Costa Rica’s borders will only be able to leave to seek medical attention. The same order will apply to all nationals or residents who enter the national territory during the closing of borders.

Violating the health order constitutes a crime punishable by imprisonment. Anyone with knowledge of a health order violation should report it to 9-1-1.


Nationals, residents or diplomats who enter Costa Rica during the period the borders are closed will be subject to the following obligations:

  • To have available a telephone in the home or cell phone, which guarantees permanent communication with health personnel to follow up, coordinate visits or make care possible in the event that symptoms related to COVID-19 develop.
  • Try to ensure that relatives with risk conditions (older adults, with chronic diseases, immunosuppressed, hypertensive, risk conditions due to lung disease) can stay with other relatives in another house, while the person is in isolation.
  • Frequently touched surfaces (bedside tables, bed frame, bedroom furniture), bathroom and toilet areas should be cleaned with disposable material and disinfected daily with a household disinfectant or alcohol-based solution to a 70% grade.
  • Both the person in isolation and their family members must be able to understand and apply correctly and consistently the basic hygiene, prevention and infection control measures found on the Ministry of Health website.
  • The common areas of the home must be kept well ventilated and hygiene measures must be intensified.
  • The quarantined person must remain in a room for individual use. The room should have adequate ventilation directly to the street. There should be no recirculated air currents from heating or cooling systems.
  • It is recommended in case there is availability, that the person has a bathroom for exclusive use, or failing that, it must be cleaned with chlorine each time it is used by the patient.
  • Inside the room a garbage can should be placed, with a pedal opening lid, and a plastic bag that closes hermetically for waste.
  • It is recommended to have cleaning utensils for individual use and products for hand hygiene. Soap and water must be used but in the event that this is not available, alcohol-based solutions with a degree of 70% can be used.
  • Cloths should be changed periodically whenever they are damp, it is recommended to use paper towels for hand drying preferably.
  • The person should not leave their place of isolation under any circumstances, except to seek medical attention.
  • Learn about handwashing, sneezing, and coughing protocols, not touching your face, and other ways to say hello.
  • Keep informed by the official media about the situation of COVID-19 in Costa Rica and avoid risky situations that may cause anxiety.

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