On March 27th 2020, the Costa Rican Ministry of Health, issued the third version of the general guidelines for commercial condominiums, condominiums with commercial and residential spaces, and residential condominiums on account of the COVID-19 sanitary alert. The guidelines reiterate the cancellation of commercial and social events and clarifies that the common areas in the condominiums and their amenities, remain regulated by the Board of Directors in accordance to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. It recommends that the use of common areas may be done following the established criteria for social distancing and the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health contemplated in the annexes to the guidelines.

The guidelines state that the Condominium Administration is obligated to maintain condominium owners and tenants informed of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, and is also the communication channel between owners and tenants that may be affected by the virus and the authorities at the number 1322. In addition to that, they indicate that the Administration must, to the extent possible, engage with all suppliers, tenants and clients through telephone, e-mail or video call. Nonetheless, the entrance of collaborators (maintenance personnel, maids, tutors) duly authorized by condominium owners to cater to daily chores in each of the properties, must not be restricted – let alone prohibited. Moreover, the guidelines stipulate the access without restrictions to those who supply food, medications, and other everyday use requirements.

In the case of regular meetings, Board of Directors meetings and assemblies (without distinguishing between ordinary or extraordinary assemblies), the guidelines ask for these to be held online, whenever possible, or else the norm that sets space capacity at 50% of its occupancy must be complied by the space in which the meeting is to be held, maintaining a distance of 1.8 meters between attendees. Additionally, the Condominium Administration is assigned with a series of sanitary and cleaning measures, such as encouraging the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health (which must be placed in visible places), guaranteeing cleaning supplies in public areas such as restroom, as well as for the collaborators staying within the Condominium, and monitor the 1.8 meters established distance, including in elevators, among others. 

Condominium owners and tenants must follow all the protocols established by the Ministry of Health (hand-washing, cough and sneeze protocol, avoid going out, etc.) and are recommended to abide by the dispositions set by the Administration regarding the use of common areas, social events, in accordance to the provisions established by the Board of Directives, as well as distancing measures, avoid going out, avoidance of physical contact with others, and in case of presenting symptoms, they must communicate this to the Condominium Administration.

As a related topic, the Ministry of Health has issued a series of additional health guidelines, such as the general guidelines for the monitoring and lifting of administrative acts (sanitary order) of domiciliary isolation due to COVID-19 and the National Surveillance Guidelines of COVID-19, of March 29th, 2020, version 10. In accordance with these guidelines, respiratory isolation for suspicious, probably or confirmed cases of COVID-19 proceed. Additionally, the close contacts of a confirmed case that do not present symptoms, shall isolate in their current domicile for a period of 14 days, which will begin on the date of the last contact with the confirmed case. The contacts of suspicious cases that do not present symptoms, shall not be isolated. The Ministry will follow up all these cases, and in case of presenting symptoms, all the corresponding guidelines must be followed.

You can report the breach of the sanitary order at the emergency number 9-1-1 or to the e-mail dac.denuncias@misalud.go.cr.

 

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