The director general of the National Coast Guard Service, Commissioner Martín Arias, warned citizens that the police forces of the Ministry of Public Security will apply the full weight of the law to people who disregard the sanitary measure of not entering national beaches, imposed by the government in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He added that the provision will apply in the same way to those who are sailing with ships or boats overloaded with passengers, and who are surprised by the coastguards during the boat review operations that are carried out throughout the day.
After thanking Costa Ricans and foreigners who have followed the health protocols while staying at home, he emphasized that there are still a few who insist on disregarding some of these guidelines, causing the authorities to have to remember and fight to enforce the law established by the Ministry of Health.
Arias reported that between Saturday and Sunday, Coast Guard and law enforcement personnel warned 127 people who were on the beaches or willing to enter. He acknowledged that all of them obeyed the police order to vacate the place and withdraw.
He specified that this Tuesday the authorities had to carry out 20 deportations of tourists as a result of patrols carried out by various beaches in Guanacaste, such as Matapalo, Matapalito, Ocotal, Potrero, El Coco and Zapotal.
Similarly, officers from the Barra del Pacuare Coast Guard, together with members of the Parismina Public Force, dismantled a camp that four people from Siquirres had installed with palm leaves in the northern sector of the mouth of the Parismina river.
Regarding the legal consequences that may be found by those found on the beaches, on this matter the legal adviser of the Public Force, Warner Nájera, explained that the measure of not entering the beaches is related to the disposition not to generate crowds in public sites.
The police lawyer added that failure to comply with this rule, contained in the General Health Law, is sanctioned with a fine of a base salary, that is, ₡ 450,200. However, if people who have been evicted insist on reentering, they could be detained and prosecuted for the crime of disobedience to authority, which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.
The director general of the Public Force, commissioner Daniel Calderón, called on citizens, not only to respect the order not to enter the beaches, but also to abide by the vehicle health restriction, as well as staying at home, among others provisions issued by the Government of the Republic.