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Costa Rica Reopening Guidelines

Costa Rica is reopening many business and social activities in the month of September, under the model “Costa Rica trabaja y se cuida” (Costa Rica works and takes care of itself), placing the bulk of the responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Costa Rica squarely on individuals, businesses and local governments.

As a result, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, put out a statement reminding Costa Ricans of guidelines that they should follow in order to slow the spread and make the reopening a successful one.

Most guidelines reinforce the extra care that should be taken in places where people congregate, such as public transport, the office, gyms, food establishments such as diners, restaurants and cafes, in cinemas and theaters, as well as in stores and supermarkets.

The general call is always to:

  • Do not go to public places if you have respiratory symptoms.
  • Constant hand washing (before touching our face, and when arriving somewhere like your home or office).
  • Correct use of masks.
  • Physical distancing.
  • Staying inside “social bubbles” (people in your household).

However, Salas took the opportunity to make specific recommendations for the following activities:

Public Transport

  • Avoid touching surfaces, both at the bus stop and inside the buses.
  • Bring the exact amount of the fare to avoid receiving change.
  • Use a 70% alcohol solution for disinfection after touching money or after handling any surface.
  • Keep bus windows open.
  • Try not to talk on buses.

The Office

  • Clean the contact surfaces before starting work, this can be done with a 70% alcohol solution.
  • If possible, have natural ventilation, opening all possible windows.
  • Have an alcohol solution dispenser and use it frequently, this gel must have a concentration of at least 60% alcohol.
  • Establish shifts for the dining room, avoiding crowds and ensuring that you are not in front of other people.
  • Do not visit the cubicles of other colleagues.

Gyms

  • The use of special “sport” masks is recommended for physical activities whenever possible.
  • Make sure the machine has been cleaned before it is used by another person.
  • Do not use the cloth used to dry sweat to clean or handle machines.

Food Establishments (diners, restaurants and coffee shops)

  • Make sure that tables and surfaces are cleaned prior to use.
  • Respect the arrangement of furniture established by the premises to ensure distance.
  • When removing the mask to eat, store it in a clean bag to prevent it from coming into contact with other surfaces.
  • Avoid handling commonly-used objects such as sauce dispensers, salt, pepper and others.
  • Do not share food with your companions.
  • Prefer electronic means of payment to avoid handling cash. If handling cash, wash your hands or apply a 70% alcohol solution.
  • Try not to talk while eating food. (Editor’s Note: This recommendation is good for the rest of your life!)

Cinemas and Theaters

  • Prefer to purchase tickets online or by phone in order to avoid interactions and crowds at the box office.
  • When removing the mask to eat, store it in a clean bag to prevent it from coming into contact with other surfaces.

Stores and Supermarkets

  • Plan purchases in advance, to reduce the time spent in the establishment.
  • Only make purchases by one individual per family.
  • Avoid going during high traffic hours.
  • Bring your own bags for shopping.
  • Touch only the items you are going to buy.
  • Prefer electronic means of payment to avoid handling cash. If handling cash, wash your hands or apply a 70% alcohol solution.
  • Apply disinfectant solution on the handle of grocery carts and baskets.

The health minister ended by encouraging people to take care of themselves and at the same time to supervise, as customers and employees, compliance with the protocols within the establishments. In case of finding faults, point them out to the establishment. In case the business shows disinterest in abiding by the rules or you see repeated non-compliance, it is prudent to make a complaint to 1-3-2-2.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Did not see anyone follow these guidelines during minor strike that shut down pan American highway for 2 days. Saw many woman and children that were stressed with no bano or water. This went on for more than 7 hours.

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