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Your social bubble should choose a place on the beach where you can maintain social distance from the nearest bubble.

Arrecife beach, close to Puerto Viejo in Limón. Photography: GOPlaya.cr

Yes, I understand that most of us like to join a ‘mejenga’ on the beach. However, at this moment it is not possible. The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) announced the protocol that must be followed by tourists visiting the beach from August 1st, as the opening hours were extended to 2:30 p.m.

This protocol is comprised by 16 rules, all key to avoid crowding and, therefore, the possibility of contagion of covid-19.

Among the required measures are constant hand washing, physical distance of 1.8 meters and social bubbles rule.

That is, your social bubble must choose a place on the beach where you can maintain the distance with the nearest bubble, something very important at this time.

It is key (and mandatory) that shops provide soap and paper towels in areas where it is possible.

In addition, street sales on beaches, hiking and food preparation are prohibited.

Nor can you play any contact sport (included soccer), or hold mass events such as parties or concerts.

If such events are detected, the authorities can proceed to evacuate people and close the access to the beach.

Remember that in the orange alert cantons, visiting hours to the beaches are maintained from 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

We will now list the 16 rules that are set out in the ICT protocol:

  1. You should not go to beaches if you have cold or flu symptoms such as: cough, sore throat, fever and respiratory distress.
  2. Do not share towels.
  3. It is recommended that visitors use personal protective equipment (PPE) in those moments of interaction with other bathers who do not belong to the same social bubble and with staff from shops at the time of requiring the provision of services.
  4. The entrance of any type of vehicle to the beach area is prohibited, except for official vehicles for emergency care.
  5. No food should be prepared during the stay on the beaches and should not be exchanged with people other than the social bubble to which it belongs.
  6. Street and food sales are prohibited in beach areas, as well as physical contact services such as temporary tattooing, massages, among others. They will only be allowed, as long as they have their respective commercial patent and operating permit.
  7. Group visits or excursions to the beaches are prohibited.
  8. The practice of collective sports or recreational activities is not allowed, where physical contact is present, unless it is the same social bubble.
  9. The practice of individual sports or recreational activities is allowed.
  10. Mass training of persons who do not belong to the same social bubble is prohibited.
  11. The owners of restaurants and businesses near the beaches must have control of the current capacity as indicated by the Ministry of Health and report any irregularities to the telephone number 1322.
  12. The managers of hotels near the beaches must be co-responsible and ensure that their guests comply with the measures, they must also report on health measures exposed.
  13. Crowding is not allowed both at sea and beach.
  14. The use of public beach seats, benches or tables is not allowed.
  15. Bonfires, barbecues, picnics or similar are forbidden.
  16. If there are parking areas for the use of tourists visiting the beaches, they must operate with a capacity of 50%, which must be met by the patented or administrator.

‘Munis’ can contribute. Take into account that in those situations where the topography of the authorized beach allows it, the municipalities may implement an access control.

In this control, the installation of the necessary infrastructure for users to wash and dry their hands can be assessed.

ICT’s Director of Tourism Management, Gustavo Alvarado, attended GOPlaya to discuss these measures. We invite you to watch the following video interview:

Se amplía horario de apertura de playas en Costa Rica

Preguntas y respuestas sobre la ampliación del horario de apertura de playas hasta las 2:30 p.m.. Invitado especial: Gustavo Alvarado, director de Gestión Turística del ICT.

Posted by GOPlaya on Friday, July 31, 2020

Businesses in general, lodgings of any nature that have access to the beaches, as well as the patented municipal ones that provide or rent to visitors or tourists hammocks, awnings, chairs, umbrellas or similar, surf boards, implements for water recreation activities should be cleaned and disinfected at the time of delivery to the visitor, as well as when returning it.

This protocol was developed by officials from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), the National Association of Mayors (ANAI), the Institute of Municipal Development and Advisory Services (IFAM) and the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL).

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José Pablo Alfaro

José Pablo Alfaro

Journalist and nature lover. He likes boat trips, walking through trails and living natural experiences.