The Costa Rican Health Ministry suspended the country's third phase of its economic reopening plan, due to begin on Saturday, June 20, after a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Friday, June 19. The ministry announced that 119 cases had been confirmed on Friday, the highest daily increase recorded. Non-essential retail stores, cinemas, and museums must now remain closed and sports matches due to take place have been suspended. Beaches and churches will also be closed over the weekend. Vehicular restrictions will also be in place between 10:00 (local time) on Saturday and 05:00 on Monday, June 22. Even license plate numbers will be prohibited from the roads on Saturday and odd license plates will only be able to drive to health centers, pharmacies, and supermarkets. On Sunday, June 21, the restrictions will switch, with odd number license plates being barred from travel and even plates only permitted to go out for essential trips.
On Friday, May 29, Public Security Minister, Michael Soto, announced that Costa Rica would extend border closures through Tuesday, June 30. Exceptions will be made for medical or humanitarian reasons, diplomatic staff, and food supply. Costa Rican citizens and legal residents are still allowed to enter; however, anyone who enters the country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Foreign nationals who entered the country after December 17, 2019, are permitted to remain in the country until August 18. Citizens, legal residents, and tourists are still permitted to leave the country. Foreign nationals who left the country after March 24 will not be permitted to re-enter until further notice.
As of Saturday, June 20, there have been 2058 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, with 12 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Copyright and Disclaimer