The government of Costa Rica has eased restrictions on vehicular movement with new measures in place between Monday, July 20, and Friday, July 31. The National Emergency Commission (CNE), which is responsible for the handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, has also updated which cantons are designated as orange alert status and yellow alert status, with restrictions slightly more stringent in the former. Full details on the vehicular restrictions, which are based on license plate numbers, as well as other restrictions and which cantons are under which alerts status, can be found here. On Monday, the Health Ministry also announced that it would be compulsory to wear face coverings in most indoor situations. The only exceptions are in one's own home and for customers at restaurants. Those with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask or covering and children under three years old are not required to comply.
Costa Rica's borders remain closed to tourists, but airports are due to resume operations in August, with further details reportedly due to be announced in the coming days.
As of Tuesday, July 21, there have been 11,534 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, with 66 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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 COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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