The current situation of the coronavirus crisis in Costa Rica

As in many other countries of the world, the corona virus has broken out in Costa Rica this spring (first infection: March 6th 2020).

Costa Rica reacted very quickly to the Corona crisis. Already with an infection number of only 6 persons, the Ticos have already closed all schools and stopped leisure activities. Shortly afterwards, bars and some restaurants were closed. Also the beaches and the national parks were closed, so that nobody from the more affected urban parts in the interior (Valle central) could go to the coast for a short vacation. Finally, all public places were closed and the driving license of cars was restricted, depending on their license plates, to stop the spread.

Apparently these measures worked. In total, only 1,318 cases have occurred since the outbreak began (almost 300 of those affected are of foreign origin). As a result, so far only about 0.02% of the entire Costa Rican population has had the virus. However, at the moment only 604 of these 1,318 cases are still active. During this time there were 10 corona related deaths (this means that Costa Rica has a death rate of 0.75%, in comparison: the death rate in Germany is 4.68%).

Step by step, the measures are now being relaxed in Costa Rica as well, in order to return to a new "normality". This plan includes several phases of the resumption of normal life, which were started on May 16th and should end on August 2nd. These phases include the gradual reopening of the national parks, hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants, as well as the theaters, cinemas, museums and stores. However, only 50% of all facilities will be open (and bars even only up to 25%). In addition, the beaches are to be made accessible again.

The restrictions for cars will remain in place. And a concept for the return to schools is still being worked on at the moment. 10 days after the opening of the hotels, the first tourists will be allowed to enter the country again on July 1st.

To what extent the relaxation is justifiable will become apparent in the coming weeks, but last week saw the two largest numbers of new infections to date (02.06./03.06.: 52 new infections and 06.06./07.06.: 55 new infections).

It is also still unclear how the pandemic will change the entire situation in Costa Rica and Central America. Not only economically, but also in terms of population movements. In the last few days an increase of Nicaraguans at the border who have tried to enter Costa Rica has been noticed, and the number is increasing daily. Due to the possible poor supply in their own country, many will probably continue to try to get to Costa Rica, although the borders are actually closed to non-residents.

For more information:

https://www.repretel.com/coronavirus (Maps with graphical representation of the data) https://san-jose.diplo.de/cr-de/service/coronavirus/2318338 https://www.mep.go.cr/noticias/mep-pone-consideracion-direcciones-regionales-grupos-consultivos-posibles-escenarios-regres https://www.repretel.com/actualidad/deportacion-aumenta-en-puesto-fronterizo-188183

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