Table 1

Timeline for COVID-19 preparation, mitigation and suppression measures in Costa Rica up to April 4th, 2020. Suppression measures are expected to reduce transmission more than mitigation measures. The impact of such measures on SARS-CoV-2 is not related to the implementation date but adherence, population coverage, and effectiveness to increase physical distancing.

Phase Date Measure
Preparation and mitigation February 3–March 3 Simulation of the emergency situation following the detection of COVID-19 cases, recommendation for churches to reduce the contact between hands and mouth during religious services. General recommendations about improved hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering the nose with the forearm while sniffing and avoiding touching the head, mouth and nose when hands have not been previously washed
March 5 First imported COVID-19 case, a mildly symptomatic tourist coming from the United States. Quarantine of people with detected infections
March 8 Recommendation for delaying international travel to Costa Rican Citizens
March 9 Work at home for public employees who can perform work duties from home. Closure of schools where students have been in contact with SARS-CoV-2 infected people
March 10 Suspension of events with large concentrations of people, some public reunion places can still be open provided they comply with strict disinfection protocols

Suppression I March 11 Encouragement of physical distancing
March 12 Reduction by 50% of capacity in public use spaces to ensure physical distancing, international travel ban for public employees
March 15–19 Closure of public spaces, suspension of classes at all levels and closure of international borders to non-citizens or legal residents. On March 16th, the president and health minister declare a national emergency, through executive bill 42227-MP-S

Suppression II March 23–27 Vehicular transit restriction for cars between 10 pm (8 pm on weekends) and 5 am. Closure of all beaches and religious temples
April 1 Free transit forbidden between 5 pm and 5 am. All long distance public transportation (between different cities or metropolitan areas) is forbidden; free transit of private cars furtherly banned, on a day by day basis, based on the last number of the car plate

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