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Published on Monday, November 22, 2021
By the A.M. Costa  Rica staff

The government announced the new covid pass rules for business owners' requesting for leniency in implementing the strict mandate.

The mandated covid-pass is obtained through a Quick Response Security code, QR, which is a type of barcode that contains the person's vaccination information. This technology will allow for quick verification of the status of vaccination against covid-19.

The new covid pass rule allows businesses to expand the number of customers or reduce the maximum capacity.

If the business verifies and requires the covid pass of all customers, they may allow more clients inside the establishment. Otherwise, if the business allows entering mixed status vaccinated clientele (with and without the covid pass) the number of people allowed to enter is reduced.

In the case of not requiring the covid pass, the business must maintain strict health guidelines such as 6 feet social distancing, use of face masks at all time and hand washing, to avoid contagion of covid-19.

The new covid pass rule responds to an order from the Court regarding not requiring the mandatory use of the covid pass. Now businesses can say if they require the covid pass from all customers or if they choose to allow fewer clients between using covid pass or not.

The new covid pass rule currently is implemented in two periods, as follows:

From now until Wednesday, Dec. 1, places where sports or cultural activities are held, such as stadiums or massive concerts, may allow 25% of the public to enter if they verify and request the covid pass to everybody. Otherwise, if they allow the mixed public (with and without covid pass) only 15% of people may be allowed inside the location.

In a second period, from Thursday, Dec. 2 to Friday, January 7, 2022, owners of sports, cultural, academic and business sites will be able to allow the entry of 40% of their clients, if the covid pass is required and verified. Otherwise, only 20% of mixed clients are allowed to enter.

In this same period, in places where massive social activities are held, such as hotel event rooms, congress, meetings, up to 200 people will be allowed to enter if the covid pass is verified and requested from everybody. Otherwise, only 100 mixed people could enter.

In the same period, at cinemas and theaters, 100% of the public capacity is allowed to enter, requesting and verifying the covid pass to the entire public. Otherwise, only a maximum of 500 mixed people are allowed to enter.

In the same period, in places where there are food and dance zones, such as discos, dance halls and nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, etc, only 50% of the capacity will be allowed to enter, requesting the covid pass to all people. Otherwise, only  25% of mixed capacity is allowed to enter.

Currently, in the case of businesses so-called “essential services,” such as supermarkets, drug stores, banks, among others, are not forced to require the covid pass from their customers. These places allow 50% of their capacity. However, if those places want to allow 100% of their clients to enter, they must request and verify the covid pass to all clients.
All businesses must visibly post the information about the decision to require and verify the covid pass from all customers or allow for mixed public.

In the case of minors, they are not required to show their covid pass, at least from now until Monday, January 31, 2022. As of Tuesday, February 1, 2022, authorities expect that people between 12 to 17 years old should already fully vaccinated.

Currently, the app named “Acceso Salud” (Health Access in the English language) was allowed by the Ministry of Health to allow users to read their client's covid pass and is available for Huawei brand devices.

The Huawei app is free. Once it's downloaded, the internet is not required to be used. The app does not save data of any kind from the covid pass that has been verified.

Authorities estimate that during this week the app for Apple devices (in the App Store) and in the Google Play Store will be enabled for all types of devices.

According to the ministry, they are the only institution that has access to the covid pass information, such as the days when the person was vaccinated, the name, date of birth, ID and country.

More than 2.8 million covid passes have been issued so far, the ministry said.

Authorities simplify the process to obtain the covid-pass for people who were inoculated in Costa Rica.

Almost 250 support centers will offer free guidance to accessing the digital covid-pass.

How has your country implemented a covid-pass?
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