The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, acknowledged that the entry restriction that will be applied at all airports, seaports and land borders, starting Wednesday, March 18 will severely hit the tourism sector.

“It is a complex day for the sector, we know it. We know that there will be an extremely strong economic impact,” Revelo said at a press conference, after the announcement of the declaration of national emergency by President Carlos Alvarado, at Casa Presidencial on mid-day Monday.

According to the minister, the Government will try to work with the Legislative branch on some measures to alleviate the crisis that small, medium and large entrepreneurs in the tourism and other economic sectors could face, as a result of the emergency response to the new coronavirus.

Along these lines, the Finance Minister, Rodrigo Chaves, and Planning Minister, Pilar Garrido, presented legislators with a plan to counter the negative effect of the covid-19 on the entire business sector.

This plan consists of suspending, for three months from April to June, the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) – impuesto al valor agregado (IVA), in Spanish – as well as income tax, selective consumption and tariffs for the merchandise imports.

“Those are measures that are being worked on at the moment to be able to alleviate, in some way, the situation that many tourism entrepreneurs will face,” said Revelo.

María Amalia Revelo clarified that, unlike other countries, Costa Rica did not suspend flights, so the entry of Costa Ricans and legal residents and the departure of foreigners from the country will be guaranteed.

“Tourists who are in the country will be able to leave Costa Rica in an orderly manner. Of course, we know that airlines are going to significantly reduce the number of flights to (and from) Costa Rica. We have not asked any airline to suspend flights, it is the arrival of tourists (that is prohibited) during those 26 days,” said Revelo.

As for Costa Ricans or residents who return to the country, they will have to undergo 14 days of isolation in their homes.

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“Those who enter the country will have to carry out a 14-day preventive isolation instructed by the Immigration officers throughout the country, following the indications of the yellow alert,” declared President of the Carlos Alvarado.

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