Five police forces will monitor and control accesses at border posts and “blind spots” on the border with Nicaragua, reported the Vice President of the Republic, Epsy Campbell, who conducted an inspection in Peñas Blancas, this Wednesday, prior to the closure of borders to foreigners, which will take effect from 23:59 hours.
The Public Force, the Border Police, the National Coast Guard Service, the National Air Surveillance Service and the Professional Migration Police will significantly increase surveillance both at official posts and at unauthorized crossings of the border line.
During the inspection visit, the Vice President was accompanied by the Vice-Ministers of the Interior, Carlos Andrés Torres; and of Health, Dennis Angulo. In the place, they held a meeting with officials from the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens, the National Customs Service, the State Phytosanitary Service, the National Animal Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Trade, as well as with the police and authorities of the Municipality of La Cruz.
At the meeting, Campbell Barr issued the latest instructions to fully comply with the presidential mandate to prohibit the entry of foreign people, as a preventive measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. “As of this midnight, we will not allow any foreign person to enter Costa Rica, either by air, by land, or by sea,” he said.
He clarified that only Costa Ricans, residents with diplomatic, religious passports and special categories who prove that they live in Costa Rica will be able to enter. However, he informed that even so “they must remain in preventive isolation for 14 days by sanitary order that will be delivered by immigration officials.”
“Failure to comply with this measure is the cause of a crime and the corresponding sanction will be applied. That is why we urge that all the protocols that we have established be respected, ”said the Vice President.
With this measure, the Government of Costa Rica anticipates that the migratory flow will be reduced substantially. According to data from the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration, during the month of January 2020, a total of 78,000 admissions and 49,000 discharges were registered for the Peñas Blancas and Las Tablillas posts.
The police strategy will maintain vigilance in “blind spots” or unauthorized steps “because possibly some people want to try that option, which we do not recommend and urge that we please apply the regulations that are already in place,” said Deputy Minister of the Interior, Carlos Andrés Towers.
He emphasized that rejections will apply immediately if a foreign person enters the national territory. “If we detect an illegal movement we will proceed with the arrest and we will carry out the corresponding procedure by the nearest immigration control post,” he explained.
Finally, the Vice President of the Republic clarified that the commercial flow will continue its ordinary transit, cargo drivers who are foreigners will be able to enter and circulate without any problem. “The objective is that there is no impact, shortage, much less depress the economy,” he said.
“Officials of the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens will take the pertinent actions within their competence so that the people of the international terrestrial, air and maritime transport of merchandise comply with the guidelines and sanitary measures issued by the Ministry of Health on COVID-19”, Campbell Barr concluded.
This is Vice President Campbell’s second visit to the northern border. On Tuesday he inspected the Las Tablillas Border Post, in Los Chiles, where he met with authorities from four local governments.
Campbell -who coordinates the “Development Strip” program for the cantons of La Cruz, Los Chiles, Upala, Guatuso, San Carlos, Río Cuarto, Sarapiquí, Pococí and the Peñas Blancas district of San Ramón- assured that the Presidential House maintains a permanent communication channel with local authorities to have real and timely information on these territories.