Street scenes in Costa Rica showing pedestrians on the left, and vehicle check points on the right. -- General Directorate of Migration and A.M. Costa Rica wire service photo --

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican government announced on Wednesday a new plan with stricter restrictions to try to contain the spread of covid-19 throughout the country.

According to A.M. Costa Rica, the restrictions will apply from Monday, Aug. 31 to Wednesday, Sept. 30, and split into two periods. The first period is the Transition Phase from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8. The second period is the Reopening Phase from September 9 to 30.

Transition Phase. It applies on Orange Alert zones. Most of the businesses can reopen, as long as they maintain 50% of the maximum capacity of clients and workers in common areas. Hotels are allowed with the maximum capacity of customers, yet must maintain 50% of the maximum capacity in common areas.

Reopening phase. Companies and commerce reopening, must do it with controlled hours, Monday to Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and Saturday to Sunday from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Services are only allowed at 50 percent of the maximum capacity of clients in common areas.

The government has also updated the districts and cantons under Yellow and Orange alerts.

The closure of all mass concentration activities such as mass concerts, festivals, bars, casinos, among others, continues.

Ban on driving. The rule will apply to the entire country from Aug. 31 to Sept. 30.

On weekdays, Monday through Friday, driving is not allowed from 5 a.m. at 10 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the ban applies from 5 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Vehicles banned are based on the last number on their vehicle plate number, as follows:

• Monday plates banned end in 1 or 2
• Tuesday plates banned end in 3 or 4
• Wednesday plates banned end in 5 or 6
• Thursday plates banned end in 7 or 8
• Friday plates banned end in 9 or 0
• Saturday plates banned end in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8
• Sunday plates banned end in 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9

The same ban on driving rules applies to border regions in Costa Rica.

Also, navigation is allowed on rivers, seas and canals.

Driving is allowed, to and from lodging places (such as hotels or cabins, among others). People must carry a document that proves the stay at the place of lodging.

According to the government, authorities are working on a new model for the prevention and containment of covid-19 that will be released next week.