Costa Rica to increase night driving restrictions:

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In response to the surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Costa Rica will apply a longer night driving ban from next week.

Starting Tuesday, April 27, the nationwide night driving restriction will begin at 9 p.m. each evening until 5 a.m. the next morning. This is two hours earlier than the current start time of 11 p.m.

The extended nightly period will last at least until Sunday, May 16.

During these dates, most businesses must also close at 9 p.m.

“This action aims to reduce the mobility of the population, slow down the increase in contagion without closing establishments,” the presidency said in a statement.

Although the government does not impose any new business closures, authorities said they would increase vigilance to ensure compliance with capacity and mask protocols.

“We are faced with a situation which calls on us to redouble the protective measures in order first of all to contain the curve of cases which continues to grow,” said President Carlos Alvarado. “We are continuing the vaccination campaign, which strengthens the actions we are taking in the face of Covid-19.

“Despite this, we must take care of ourselves and not let our guard down to avoid a collapse of hospitalization which is now at its limit.”

Earlier this month, Costa Rica also restarted its weekend driving restrictions:

  • On Saturdays, only vehicles whose license plates end with even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) may be driven.
  • On Sundays, only vehicles whose license plates end with odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) may be driven.

The typical list of exceptions – which includes rental vehicles, people driving to / from a hotel reservation, and people driving to / from the airport – continues to apply. The official list of exceptions can be found here.

Costa Rica first established national driving restrictions in April 2020 to reduce non-essential travel and the spread of the coronavirus.

While easing most other measures, Costa Rica had removed national daytime restrictions in March 2021, but an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in recent weeks has led the government to reconsider its decision.

The official website for driving restrictions and other coronavirus measures in Costa Rica is: https://presidencia.go.cr/alertas.


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