On March 27, 2020, the Health Department of Costa Rica updated the general guidance for commercial, residential and mixed condominiums, with regards to the COVID-19 crisis.  Because of the authority granted to the Health Department, such general guidance is mandatory and it will remain valid and enforceable until it is revoked by the authority.

The most relevant update in the guidelines is that the prohibition in the use of the common recreational areas of the condominiums (club house, roof terraces, pools, jacuzzi, gym, BBQ area, cinemas, massage areas, social rooms, etc.) was revoked and it shall be regulated in each condominium by the management board of the condominium, according to the general guidelines issues by the Health Department (social distancing, 50% capacity rule, operating hours, etc.). It shall be understood that if there is no management board, the rules shall be implemented by the administrator of the Condominium.

The restrictions for third party visits for social gatherings are eliminated; it is clarified that it is not possible to deny the access to the employees (maids, maintenance personnel, teachers) as well as to the delivery services (food, medications, other goods).  The suggestion to the owners to restrict or eliminate the vacation rentals of the premises (Airbnb, etc.) were also deleted.  Finally, the new guidelines eliminated the cancelation of the in-person meetings of HOA and management board, subject to the social distancing and 50% occupation rules.

The new guidelines are summarized below.

Guidelines for the management board

  • Establish a communication channel with the owners and tenants in case that one of them can be considered a suspicious case of COVID-19 or he/she was in contact with a suspicious case, in order to coordinate with the Health Authorities thru the 1322 phone number. Please remember to keep any information of suspicious cases or confirmed cases confidential.
  • The use of the recreational areas of the condominium shall be made according to the social distancing rules and the general guidelines issued by the Health Department.
  • Keep the tenants and owners informed of the rulings and notices sent by the Health Department, as well as the daily reports issued by the Health Department.
  • Keep informed the owners and tenants about the services and employees of the condominium that will remain in duty. Such employees will need to follow the protocol and guidelines issued by the Health Department about social distancing.
  • HOA and management board meetings can be held by electronic means; however, it can be in-person if the social distancing (1.8 meters distance) and 50% capacity usage of the premises are followed.
  • Attend the suppliers, tenants and customers by phone, email and video call and avoid the one to one contact. The access of employees (maids, maintenance personnel, teachers) cannot be restricted.  The same rules apply for the delivery of food, medications and other goods.
  • Intensify the cleaning measures, especially in the surfaces frequently touched such as: handles, furniture, elevator buttons, door knobs, etc.
  • Guarantee that the administrative, maintenance and security personnel has protection products like: soap and water, masks, gloves, gel alcohol, disinfectant, disposable towels, etc.
  • Place the sneeze and cough, hand washing, no touching the face, greetings and population at risk protocols in visible spaces.
  • Ensure the access to toilet paper, antibacterial soap, disposable towels for drying hands and gel alcohol in public restrooms, that need to be properly disinfected.

Obligations of tenants and owners

  • In case there is one person in the condominium that has symptoms associated with respiratory disease, contact the administrator.
  • In case there is an individual with a sanitary order issued by the Health Department, follow the rules and guidelines issued by the same.
  • Keep the sneeze and cough, hand washing, no touching the face and greetings protocols as preventive and contingent measures.
  • Follow the social distancing protocols issued by the Health Department, as stay-at-home and avoid the physical contact warnings.
  • Follow the guidelines issued by the management board regarding the use of common areas and the cancelation of activities and social events.
  • Keep informed through the official sources https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you need further information.

 

 

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Guillermo Zúñiga

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