he Economy Ministry (MEIC) and the Tourism Board (ICT), announced on Monday that bars and certain casinos will be permitted to reopen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as long as these establishments adhere to health protocols in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Bars, for example, will be required to play music at a decibel level that permits patrons to converse at a normal volume. Guests won’t be permitted to dance, and establishments will install acrylic barriers at the bar and some tables.
Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura said casinos located in hotels will be allowed to reopen. Guests must pass a temperature screening, machines and chips will be sanitized frequently, and alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.
Approved bars and casinos can reopen starting Friday, October 9. For both types of establishments, capacity will be limited to 50%.
Like other establishments, bars and casinos must close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends, in line with Costa Rica’s national driving restrictions.
“We have all been looking forward to the reopening of the economic activities, the continuity of business, the regeneration of jobs,” Hernández said.
The news comes as Costa Rica continues being impacted by the coronavirus. As of Monday, the country had reported 987 COVID-19 related deaths and more than 81,000 cumulative cases.
Due to the pandemic, Costa Rica’s bars and casinos have been closed since mid-March, though more recently bars could reopen as restaurants.