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We at CRIE would like to assure all our clients that we remain open for business and we are here for you. We created this resource page that we will maintain and keep updated for your benefit during this time. If you have any questions please contact us and we’d be glad to help.

Last Updated: May 29, 2020
Please note that all information on this page is subject to change at any time. The situation changes on a daily basis.

What Should I Do?

The best thing you can do for yourself and everyone around you is to stay home. Leaving the home should be reserved only for things that you HAVE to do.

This is especially true for those who are at risk: the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Please stay at home if you are elderly or otherwise at risk.

If you have to go out, take precautions to keep your distance from others (at least 2 meters when possible), avoid crowds, and be sure to wash your hands with soap and water when you return. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.

Read more about how you should protect yourself and some other commonly asked questions at the World Health Organization’s Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19).

Home Delivery Services

Fortunately, Costa Rica has a wide range of delivery services available, especially in the Greater Metropolitan Area of San José, such as:

  • UberEats, Glovo, Rappi, Hugo (mobile delivery apps): note that these apps also include pharmacies, convenience stores, and other things besides just restaurants. Look for them on your mobile phone’s app store.
  • Pricesmart delivery: available through Rappi
  • Automercado delivery
  • Mas x Menos delivery
  • Pharmacy delivery: Sucre En Linea, Fischel En Linea

Many local farmer’s markets such as Feria Verde and Buena Tierra are also offering weekly delivery and pickup of fresh local produce. Be sure to contact your local store to see if they deliver. Staying home means staying healthy!

Costa Rica’s Temporary Measures To Slow COVID-19 Spread

As of this writing, the Costa Rican authorities have taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus with a series of temporary measures. Below is NOT a complete list and is subject to change at any time:

  • CANCELLED: All events (concerts, festivals, sporting events) due to crowding.
  • CLOSED: Schools and universities, museums, bars, casinos, clubs, all places of religious worship, most common areas of residential and commercial condominiums, public parks.
  • OPEN:
    • Government agency offices, banks, judicial courts, supermarkets, pharmacies, medical services are open, but with reduced hours and services and extra precautions.
    • Barber shops, beauty salons, hardware stores, auto parts stores, non-contact sporting facilities, gyms, swim schools and pay parking lots can be open 7 days a week.
    • Restaurants and cafés can be open on weekdays until 10pm, with takeout and delivery available on the weekends.
    • Most other shops, along with cinemas and theaters (with the exception of Teatro Nacional and Teatro Mélico Salazar) can be open on weekdays until 10pm.
    • National parks are open, with entry tickets available online or at the park entrance (cards only, no cash), at 50% capacity.
    • Beaches are open weekdays from 5am-8am only for exercise (walking, running, surfing).
    • Hotels with 20 rooms or fewer are open, at 50% capacity.
    • Workplaces not open to the public (offices, call centers, factories) can be open, but work from home is encouraged where possible.
  • Foreign tourists who are in the country and who have entered on or after December 17, 2019, have their tourist visas automatically extended until August 18. As of April 29, MOPT has also allowed these tourists to drive on their foreign driver’s licenses until July 17. Please read the press release (in Spanish) — and print a copy to keep in your car!
  • Non-resident foreigners are not allowed to enter the country until after June 30. Citizens and foreign residents may enter the country, but will be ordered to quarantine at home for 14 days. Quarantine violators are subject to large fines and potential criminal prosecution.
  • Any foreign residents who left Costa Rica AFTER March 25 will not be allowed to return until after June 30. Any foreign resident caught entering illegally due to this restriction will have their residence status cancelled.
  • A special vehicle restriction is in place until at least June 19:
    • Vehicles can be on the road 5:00am to 10:00pm on weekdays, 5:00am to 7:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2 will NOT be allowed on the road on Mondays.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 3 and 4 will NOT be allowed on the road on Tuesdays.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 5 and 6 will NOT be allowed on the road on Wednesdays.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 7 and 8 will NOT be allowed on the road on Thursdays.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 9 and 0 will NOT be allowed on the road on Fridays.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 will be allowed on the road on Saturdays to go to businesses that are open on weekends.
    • Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 will be allowed on the road on Sundays to go to businesses that are open on weekends.
    • A certain number of exceptions have been made for essential purposes such as official use, deliveries, emergencies and more. Please see here for details (in Spanish).

What Do I Do If I Suspect I Have COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19, or you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, stay home and call 1322 first for information and instructions. If it’s an emergency (for example, if you’re having trouble breathing) call 9-1-1.

The CCSS has announced that any treatment related to COVID-19 will be free of charge regardless of your residency or CCSS status.

Where to Get Up to Date Information About COVID-19 in Costa Rica

Here are the most authoritative and up-to-date sources of information for the COVID-19 outbreak in Costa Rica:

Ministerio de Salud. We suggest following their Facebook page for updates.
Casa Presidencial. We suggest following their Facebook page for updates.
Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). We suggest following their Facebook page for updates.

Beware of Misinformation! Many of us are passing around misinformation on social media and text messages. This may be well-intentioned, but beware any information without references is totally suspect and may hurt you!

What Services Are Still Available from CRIE?

Migración offices are mostly closed for the time being, which means new applications are no longer accepted. However, there are some services that we can provide at CRIE as of this writing:

  • Citizenships / Naturalizations
  • CCSS registration
  • Bank account opening
  • Criminal record checks from USA and Canada
  • Renewals of most residencies
  • Legal services through our network of affiliated attorneys and public notaries

Please contact us for assistance or more information.

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