Costa Rica has been one of a handful of places to welcome Americans in recent months. They’ve been dealing with significant spread of Covid-19 since August. So far over 160,000 Costa Ricans have been confirmed to have the virus, and about 2000 have died.
The country has new restrictions going into effect December 31 and the one that affects American tourists most is that beaches will close at 2:30 p.m.
Other restrictions include a capacity limit of 25% for bars and casinos and 50% for national parks, as well as night time curfews for vehicles (excluding rental vehicles). Local vehicles will also have restrictions on alternating weekend days.
The beach closure, though, makes very little sense.
- There’s no serious scientific analysis that suggests people maintaining social distancing at the beach are spreading Covid-19.
- Costa Rica is effectively telling people to Leave their outdoor activity in favor of something more likely to be indoors, which the virus spreads far more easily.
Beach at the Andaz Papagayo
I’m in favor of taking action that delays the spread of the virus, because we’re on the cusp of broadly available vaccines. It makes sense to hold out a few more months, delaying activities into the future. I am not in favor of restrictions that appear to do something, that limit freedoms without a meaningful relation to limiting spread of the virus.
To be sure even Florida closed beaches at the start of the pandemic. But we know a lot more now about how Covid-19 spreads.
(HT: Ron L.)