Given the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have in Costa Rica, the government of the Republic has announced mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for public sector workers. On Friday 15 October, Executive Decree No. 43249-S enters into force, after being signed by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, and the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas.

As well as the requirement for public sector workers, this decree also establishes the option for employers in the private sector which may, within their internal labor provisions, decide to incorporate a mandatory vaccination in their workplaces.

As the Decree states, “…it will be the responsibility of the employer to take the corresponding measures in accordance with the country’s legislation and institutional regulations, in the case of workers who do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The decree also states that public sector workers must be vaccinated when invited, in accordance with the respective institutional planning, with the exception of officials who are not recommended to receive the vaccine due to duly declared medical conditions.

As stated in the official communication issued by the Costa Rican government, “The Constitutional Chamber has analyzed what refers to the obligatory nature of vaccination and has recognized the importance of vaccination as part of the essential health care that the State must guarantee … and, secondly, that the safeguarding of public health and the prevention of diseases constitutes a constitutionally legitimate aim that can validly justify the obligatory nature of vaccines.”

Our team of professionals from the Costa Rica office is available to help private sector companies in the country that may wish to establish their own vaccination rules according to the parameters established by the legislation (in relation to internal disposition, data processing, communication, permits, etc.).

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