The Vice President of the Republic, Epsy Campbell Barr, announced on Tuesday an increase in surveillance on the northern border and the start of operations to control irregular entries into the country, as a preventive measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On a visit to the Las Tablillas Border Post, Campbell informed the leaders of local governments about the police strategy, in compliance with the decree announced by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, to prohibit the entry of foreigners after 23: 59 hours on Wednesday, March 18 and until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
Campbell explained that in the next few days there will be a greater deployment both in the official border control posts and in the so-called “blind spots”.
“Given the national emergency declaration announced by the President of the Republic and the yellow alert issued the previous week due to the situation of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, we have decided to move an important police resource to the northern border in order to guarantee the national security and safeguard Costa Rican public health, ”said Vice President Campbell.
“We will be increasing surveillance in this area with the support of the Public Force and Specialized Units, the Border Police, the National Coast Guard Service, the National Air Surveillance Service and the Professional Migration Police,” he added.
The director of the Border Police, Allan Obando, explained that the operations will include maritime, air and land surveillance. “The work of the Ministry of Public Security will be to accompany the Professional Migration Police to ensure that no one enters the national territory irregularly. We will reinforce the presence both in official posts and in unauthorized crossings of the border line, in compliance with the presidential mandate, ”said Obando.
Campbell was emphatic when informing that the country will only allow the entry of Costa Ricans and residents, who must carry out a mandatory preventive isolation for 14 days, instructed by sanitary order that will be delivered by the Immigration Officers, legitimized as sanitary authority.
The Director of Migration and Aliens, Raquel Vargas, assured that if a person is detected entering through an unauthorized position, the officers of the Migration Police will proceed with the arrest and will make the corresponding rejection by the closest immigration control post.
“Rejection is a police action that prevents entry into the national territory for contravening an existing regulation or directive. In this case, the President of the Republic reported on the prohibition of entry to foreigners for the next four weeks, “said Vargas.
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.
Vice President 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 de San Ramón district – assured the mayors and mayors of the North Zone that the Presidential House will maintain a permanent communication channel to have real and timely information on these territories.