Nosara, COVID-19

Why will the beaches Guiones, Pelada and Ostional remain closed due to the new guidelines?

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The beaches of Guiones, Pelada and Ostional will remain closed to the public, as an exception to the new measures on COVID-19, that  allowed beaches to be reopened during weekdays and only for three hours in the morning, starting on May 18. The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge informed so this Tuesday.

The most immediate explanation for this is that  these beaches are not actually public, but part of a protected area. Although the government authorized the opening of 12 national parks with a 50% capacity, Ostional isn’t one of them.

This decision was made by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) and the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac).

According to the administrator of the Ostional refuge, Yeimy Cedeño,  Sinac is working on a protocol for all the protected areas in the country, weeks ago, but not all are ready. That’s why only 12 were selected at this stage.

Ostional does not meet the basic requirements, as there is no human control over who enters the space, and because these beaches encourage large crowds.

We already are working on a protocol, but it’s not our decision,” Cedeño emphasized.

This is also the case for the beaches of Carbón, Ventanas, Grande and Langosta, ofLas Baulas National Marine Park in Santa Cruz, and the Camaronal beach of the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge in Nandayure.

Neighbors are not happy

The Nosara Civic Association (NCA) stated that its members are against these measures: “We are fully available to collaborate on the security protocols that the refuge needs.”

The organization started a campaign to collect signatures, which at the time of our publication had 750 expressions of support.

The project manager of the organization, Francisco Jiménez, stated that opening the beaches of Nosara will help revive the economy of the district, strongly affected by the crisis, especially for SMEs.

Small rentals and hotels have an opportunity to open, hoping that tourists can go to the beach for a little while during the day,” says Jiménez.

The manager said they are already in talks with authorities of the refuge, and that they have proposed strategies to enforce Sinac protocols, including voluntary work, to assure that the maximum capacity is being met.

Cedeño said that the Minae will review the possibility of opening more shelters again on June 1. However, he did not rule out that the beaches will still be closed after that date.

The ministries have received reports that although they gave the order to close, people still went surfing or swimming,” emphasized the administrator.

Given the new measures, the beaches of San Juanillo, Garza and Sámara will be open during on weeekdays from 5 AM to 8 AM. “For now, we recommend that you go to those beaches that are not part of the refuge,” said the manager.

The Ministry of Health reported that in the past two months, Nicoya reported four cases of covid-19, all of which have already been recovered. Nosara does not currently record any cases.

Of all the protected areas in Guanacaste, only the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park will open next Monday.