Costa Rica

Costa Rica coronavirus measures for December

The Tico Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 21:39
Costa Rica will operate under its “Controlled Reopening” in December.

Costa Rica’s coronavirus measures will continue unchanged in December.

The current measures permit for most economic activity to operate with some restrictions. Here’s what that means:

Most commercial activities allowed

Most commercial establishments can remain open nationwide, including in Orange Alert areas. Capacity limits and other distancing rules are typically mandated.

However, some activities and businesses still cannot operate. This includes mass-gathering events, sports with in-person attendance and night clubs, among others.

If a canton in an Orange Alert cannot or does not establish a “Prevention Plan” to respond to the area’s coronavirus spread, health authorities may enforce localized restrictions that permit for only essential activities.

The general public must continue wearing masks in public, respecting physical distancing and avoiding unnecessary exposure to others.

Health Minister Daniel Salas on Tuesday urged the population to be particularly mindful of guidelines during Christmas and other year-end holidays. Everyone should avoid close contact with people outside of their social bubble whenever possible, he said.

Vehicular restrictions continue

The vehicular restrictions will continue in December.

On weekdays, driving is permitted from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekends, driving is permitted from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Saturdays: All vehicles can drive.
  • Sundays: All vehicles can drive.

As is customary, there are many exceptions to the daytime driving restrictions. These include: People driving to/from work, people driving rental cars, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, people driving to/from the airport, and people driving to/from a medical appointment. (Drivers will be asked for proof if stopped by Traffic Police.)

Click here for the full list of exceptions to the vehicular restrictions.

Cantons in an Orange Alert

Click here for an interactive map of Orange/Yellow Alert cantons in Costa Rica.

Other items of note
  • The Costa Rican Presidency has created this Spanish-language site with official documentation of the current restrictions.
  • Generally, establishments can remain open in accordance to the day’s vehicular restrictions (i.e. until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends).
  • Beaches, national parks and all open-air tourism activities are permitted.
  • Driving to/from a non-traditional accommodation (e.g. an AirBnB) will qualify for an exemption to the vehicular restrictions.

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Categorie: Costa Rica

Authorities urge responsibility as coronavirus strains hospital capacity

The Tico Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 20:57
Stock photo of a coronavirus test. Photo is for illustrative purposes.

Costa Rica suffered 41 new coronavirus-related deaths between Friday and Tuesday for a total of 1,731, according to official data released Tuesday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Five-hundred and seventy-one people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 58 people since Friday.

According to Román Macaya, executive president of the Costa Rica Social Security System (CCSS), 99 patients are in “critical care” ICU beds designed for patients with COVID-19 and other comorbidities. The public-health system has just eight remaining critical-care beds available.

The 224 patients in the ICU represents 62% of Costa Rica’s total capacity.

The Health Ministry has confirmed 140,172 total cases, including 1,155 on Saturday, 851 on Sunday, 539 on Monday and 534 on Tuesday. At least 87,721 people have been cleared as recovered, though this number lags weeks behind the actual figure.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 33.9 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. COVID-19 will be Costa Rica’s leading cause of death in 2020.

Authorities urge responsible celebrations

Health Minister Daniel Salas and other authorities urged Costa Ricans to celebrate Christmas, the New Year and other holidays responsibly.

“December is a complicated month for the pandemic. It could be fruitful and fertile for the virus if we don’t follow recommendations,” Salas said. “We need to be brave and accept the harsh reality.”

Alexander Solís, President of the National Emergency Commission, indicated restrictions will remain unchanged in December and asked for compliance even as several promising vaccines approach approval.

“Help is on the way, but it’s not here yet,” he said.

Costa Rica’s outbreak in context

Costa Rica has the 47th-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. At 21 new cases per 100,000 people, this significantly trails the United States (48.3) but is higher than Canada (15.6).

About 1.2% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Costa Rica have died. The average age of Costa Rica’s coronavirus-related deaths is 70 years.

COVID-19 will be Costa Rica’s leading cause of death in 2020, surpassing acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), which killed 1,322 people last year.

An analysis more than 200 COVID-19-related deaths in Costa Rica, released in October, confirmed 90% of them were caused by the virus or an associated complication, while 9% had died of unrelated causes. This case-by-case analysis is ongoing.

Costa Rica has up to 359 intensive-care beds and 986 beds for less-complex coronavirus hospitalizations.


The below graphic will update automatically as the Health Ministry releases new coronavirus data. Remember, coronavirus updates now happen twice a week, but this graph updates daily:

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If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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Categorie: Costa Rica

UN warns of impending debt crisis in Latin America

The Tico Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 18:03
View of an empty street in San José, Costa Rica on March 26, 2020.

The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, warned Monday that Latin America could suffer in 2021 a crisis of sovereign debt due to the expenses necessary to face the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A possible major sovereign debt crisis is looming next year,” Guterres warned in a speech during a virtual summit with Central American heads of state and governments.

The meeting was organized by the Central American Integration System (SICA) and its general secretary, Vinicio Cerezo, participated in it. The bloc is comprised of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and the Dominican Republic.

According to Guterres, the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic “will significantly widen the financing gap” in Latin America and the Caribbean, which could lead to “a major liquidity crisis” — that is, lack of money for the economy to continue its usual pace.

The UN Secretary General appealed for the support of multilateral financial entities such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), as well as the countries of the Group of Twenty (G20).

One of the measures that Guterres asked is that these organizations agree to delay the collection of the debt until the end of 2021.

The main objective of this initiative is to allow poorer countries the opportunity to concentrate their resources on fighting the pandemic and protecting the lives and livelihoods of their most vulnerable populations, according to the World Bank.

Guterres also called on the IMF, the World Bank and the G20 to “consider the possibility of granting greater relief, including debt cancellations,” to Latin American countries, including middle-income ones.

Central America and climate change

The president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, assured on Twitter that, during the meeting, he asked Guterres to recognize Central America as “the region most affected by the effects of climate change” given the recurring damage it suffers from natural phenomena.

For its part, the government of Guatemala reported that President Alejandro Giammattei and his peers raised the possibility of accessing the Green Climate Fund to rebuild the areas hit by hurricanes Eta and Iota, which left some 200 dead and millions in losses in the region.

Designed to be a financing mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Green Fund was created to support the efforts of developing countries to limit or reduce their emissions and help them adapt to the effects of climate change.

In the same vein, the president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, urged Central America to form a united front to seek financing in order to help the region’s countries avoid a “health, economic and climate crisis.”

The post UN warns of impending debt crisis in Latin America appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

Categorie: Costa Rica

Costa Rica warns Biden that pandemic, climate change will increase migration

The Tico Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:50
Joe Biden visited Costa Rica in 2009.

The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, on Monday asked US President-elect Joe Biden to lead multilateral action to face the economic impacts of Covid-19 and climate change that could increase migration in Central America.

In a telephone conversation between the two leaders, Alvarado warned Biden that the pandemic and the climate crisis will have “devastating economic and fiscal consequences” in the Central American countries, which the Costa Rican argued will “intensify migratory phenomena in the region.”

Given this, Alvarado proposed to Biden “a solidarity and effective multilateralism to achieve a green and resilient economic reconstruction,” the Costa Rican Presidency said in a statement.

“You can count on Costa Rica to undertake this urgent task,” Alvarado added.

Costa Rica has been impacted hard by the coronavirus crisis, which almost doubled unemployment from 12% in March to 22% in September, while the fiscal deficit — at 6% of GDP in 2019 — will reach 9.3% by the end of 2020, according to a projection from the Central Bank.

The Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) is one of the main sources of migrants to the United States. Residents there flee poverty and violence in their communities.

Alvarado explained to Biden his initiative to create the Fund to Alleviate COVID-19 Economics (FACE), financed with 0.7% of the GDP of the strongest economies in the world, which would serve to grant loans under favorable conditions to emerging countries with fixed and long-term rates.

The post Costa Rica warns Biden that pandemic, climate change will increase migration appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

Categorie: Costa Rica

UNA celebra esfuerzo con graduación virtual

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
Este martes 1º de diciembre a la 1:00 p.m. la Universidad Nacional (UNA) tendrá una ceremonia de graduación virtual en la que participarán 1.129 estudiantes de distintas carreras y en la que sobresale un licenciado en Administración.El breve acto simbólico se ...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Aprueban nuevas normas alimentarias

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
La 43ª sesión de la Comisión del Codex Alimentarius (CAC43), realizada de manera virtual, aprobó oficialmente nuevas normas para proporcionar productos inocuos y de calidad en el mercado que garanticen la salud de los consumidores y las prácticas equitativas en el co...
Categorie: Costa Rica

MEP organiza acto cívico virtual

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
La Conmemoración de este 1º de diciembre, Día de la Abolición del Ejército se da de forma virtual.El Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP) organizó un acto cívico virtual como parte del acto oficial del 72º aniversario de esta fecha.L...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Conozca cómo cuidar su dinero en está navidad

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
El Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) insta a sus clientes y público en general a permanecer alerta durante los días festivos de fin y principio de año, por cuanto cada vez que se avecinan estas fechas especiales y con ellas el pago de aguinaldos, bonos, salario escolar y demás in...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Contraloría devuelve presupuesto “inflado”

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
La Contraloría General de la República (CGR) devolvió a la Municipalidad de Puriscal su presupuesto para el Ejercicio Económico de 2021.  El gobierno local envió su plan de gastos por ¢3.080 millones, sin embargo, el órgano contralor procedi&oacut...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Fallece exembajador Antonio Tacsan

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
Antonio Tacsan Lam, exdiputado por Guanacaste entre 1986 y 1990 y exembajador de Costa Rica en Nicaragua durante la administración de Óscar Arias, falleció este lunes. En su destacada trayectoria, Tacsan también se desempeñó como director del antiguo Liceo ...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Restituyen ¢28.000 mills. al Banhvi en medio de críticas

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
Los diputados restituyeron al Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda (Banhvi) aproximadamente ¢28.000 millones para el presupuesto de la República 2021.  Si bien es cierto la institución alertó que un recorte por ¢48.000 millones generaría una fuerte caíd...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Pagan ¢98 mills. a consultora investigada por manipulación

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
El Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) pagó ¢98 millones a la empresa IDOM por los estudios técnicos y diseños para la terminal de Paquera.  DIARIO EXTRA publicó el 18 de junio anterior que la firma está bajo investigación por...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Impuesto a cooperativas aumentará recibo de luz

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
Las cooperativas que venden energía eléctrica aseguran estar en contra de la aprobación del impuesto sobre los excedentes de este tipo de entidades. “Eso perjudica a los asociados a las cooperativas, los recursos de los excedentes se toman para proyectos de proyecci&oacut...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Sector eléctrico alega impacto en precio de producción

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
La Asociación Sindical Costarricense de Telecomunicaciones y Electricidad (Acotel) dice estar preocupada por el proyecto de actualización de la Ley de Aguas que se discute en la Comisión de Ambiente de la Asamblea Legislativa. “La ley contempla un canon nuevo, para la Dir...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Gobierno oculta futuro de impuesto a transacciones

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
La ministra de Planificación, María del Pilar Garrido, no quiere revelar cuál será el futuro del impuesto a las transacciones bancarias que propuso el gobierno el 18 de setiembre anterior.  Ese día la Presidencia dio a conocer el plan de un tributo temporal a...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Alvarado suplica ayuda a presidente Joe Biden

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
    El mandatario Carlos Alvarado le pidió ayuda al presidente gringo Joe Biden por medio de una llamada telefónica que realizó este lunes.La solicitud es que el presidente electo de Estados Unidos se sume al plan para crear un Fondo para Aliviar la Economía d...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Cancillería gasta ¢146 mills. en transporte de “chunches”

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
    Pese a la crisis económica y fiscal por la pandemia del Covid-19, la Cancillería sigue gastando recursos de todos los costarricenses.Ante la consulta de DIARIO EXTRA, el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores confirmó que en lo que va del año se han desembols...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Dan último adiós a obispo emérito

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
Los vecinos del cantón central de Alajuela, familiares y representantes de la Iglesia Católica dieron el último adiós a monseñor José Rafael Barquero Arce, obispo emérito de esa diócesis.  Barquero murió a los 89 años este d...
Categorie: Costa Rica

¢150.000 Mills. de fideicomisos sin registro en caja única del Estado

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
  La Contraloría General de la República indicó que ¢30.326 millones en 8 fideicomisos que administra el Gobierno central no se encuentran registrados en la caja única del Estado, según un reciente informe publicado por la entidad.“Existen endeudam...
Categorie: Costa Rica

Hacienda con pésimo control tributario

Diario Extra - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:00
    La Contraloría General de la República (CGR) criticó el mal control tributario del Ministerio de Hacienda durante la pandemia.Destaca que debido a la crisis económica que enfrenta el país y el proyecto Ley de Alivio Fiscal que se puso en marcha dura...
Categorie: Costa Rica