Following a decision by Casa Presidencial and the Labor Ministry last week, most public offices are closed for the entire Easter Holy Week, which began on Monday. Some banks and public hospitals, however, are open from Monday to Wednesday.
Transportation services are reduced, including train service, which is suspended until next Monday, March 28. Commerce not related to tourism comes to a halt on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
Following is a list of what’s open and what’s closed during Easter Holy Week:
Public offices: All ministries, the Legislative Assembly and Supreme Elections Tribunal are closed March 21-25. The Roadway Safety Council is closed all week, so drivers who have their cars impounded or permits or license plates confiscated will have to wait until next Monday to retrieve them. Toll booths (except on Route 27) will stop collecting at noon on Thursday and will reopen at 6 a.m. on Saturday.
The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and courts from the judicial branch will be closed, except for domestic violence court.
The Power and Light Company will work Monday through Wednesday, but customer service and emergency attention staff (1026) will work all week.
Banks: Public banks including branches of Banco Nacional (2211-2000), Banco de Costa Rica (2287-9000), Bancrédito (2550-5060) and Banco Popular (2211-7000) will operate normally Monday through Wednesday and will be back in operation on Monday, March 28. Most private banks such as BAC San José (2295-9797), Scotiabank (2210-4000), Davivienda (2287-1111), Promérica (2505 7000) and Cathay (2527-7700) will be closed from 3 p.m. on Wednesday until Monday.
Customs: Customs offices at the border with Nicaragua will be open all week, but with special hours: At Peñas Blancas, offices will open from 6 a.m. to midnight, and from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. At Los Chiles, offices will open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., and at Las Tablillas from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Customs at the border with Panamá at Paso Canoas will work from 6 a.m.–10 p.m., and at Sixaola from 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Customs at Juan Santamaría International Airport outside San José will work 24/7, while those at Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, will work from 5 a.m.–10 p.m.
Embassies: The U.S. Embassy (2220-3939), Canadian Embassy (2242-4400), British Embassy (2258-2025), and the French Embassy (2234-4167) will be closed starting Thursday.
Hospitals and pharmacies: Public hospitals will be closed, but emergency rooms will remain open 24 hours a day all week. Emergency rooms and pharmacies at private hospitals Clínica Bíblica (2522-1000), in downtown San José, Clínica Católica (2283-6616), in the northeastern suburb of Guadalupe, and CIMA (2208-1000), in the southwestern suburb of Escazú, also will be open 24 hours a day.
The Red Cross (1028 or 911), the National Insurance Institute (INS, 800-800-8000) and the Trauma Hospital also will attend to emergencies at all hours.
Shopping Malls/Cinemas: Most stores at Multiplaza (East and West), Paseo de las Flores and Terramall will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Food courts will be open from noon to 8 p.m., while cinemas will be open as normal.
Supermarkets: Auto Mercado stores (2257-4242) in the Central Valley will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, except for the Multiplaza and Los Yoses stores, which will close at 9 p.m., and the downtown San José store, which will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day.
On Friday, all stores will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., except the downtown San José and Los Yoses stores, which will be closed. Saretto (2228-6703), in Escazú, will be closed Thursday and Friday.
Most Más x Menos (2243-7100) stores will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, except for the store in Jacó, on the central Pacific coast, which will be open until 10 p.m. on Thursday, and until 9 p.m. on Friday. Walmart (2286-0033) stores will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. PriceSmart (2283-4494) will be closed on Friday only.
Mail and shipping: Correos de Costa Rica (2202-2900), Aerocasillas (2208-4848), DHL (2209-6000) and FedEx (800-463-3339) will be closed from Thursday until Monday.
Veterinarians: The National University (UNA) veterinary hospital in Barreal de Heredia (2260-9234) is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dr. Bitter’s clinics in San José and Escazú (2227-5017) will be closed Thursday and Friday. Dr. Adrián Molina (2228-1909) in Escazú will be closed Thursday through Saturday.