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Driving Restrictions in Costa Rica

More Driving Restrictions in Costa Rica Announced

More driving restrictions in Costa Rica announced: From Tuesday, April 27, Costa Rica will roll back its current 11:00 PM restriction to 9:00 PM.

The Costa Rica government has announced a return to the 9:00 PM-5:00 AM driving restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking today, Health Minsister Daniel Salas said the measures would run from April 27 to May 16

The resictrictions will include weekends, where vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers can’t drive Saturdays. That means vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers can’t be out on Sundays. These restrictions came back into play on April 17.

Rental cars, journeys to/from airports, and journeys to/from hotel reservations remain exempt from these restrictions.

Businesses will now have to close before 9:00 PM to comply with these restrictions. This was the norm for much of the pandemic.

Costa Rica moved its vehicle restriction from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM in March. Since then, after seeing a marked drop on Covid cases from mid-January, cases have risen again, so they’re reapplying the brakes.

Salas cited mathmatical models from UCR (Universidad de Costa Rica) show that restricting vehicle movement reduces infections by over 80%.

Also speaking today, President Carlos Alvarado said there would be no business closures at all, outside of those having to close earlier again at night.

As a government, we understand people need to work to sustain their households,” he said.

Speaking later this afternoon on Twitter, the president cut a gloomy picture, saying Costa Rica was facing one of its most painful chapters in the pandemic.

Eduardo Solano, the Vice Minister of Security, said police would make sure businesses and citizens follow Covid protocols.

These range from complying with the driving restrictions to ensuring businesses close on time and keep to their designated capacity limits. Expect to see more stringency from the police here. 

Justifying the return to these measures, the government said their main concern was protecting Costa Rica’s ICU units from collapsing. Today saw 1,830 new cases of Covid, the largest daily amount since the pandemic started.

James Dyde is the editor of He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.

James Dyde

James Dyde

James Dyde is a British immigrant to Costa Rica and the editor of this website. He has lived in Central America since 2000 and retains a deep love for the region. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.