The Arenal Area Magazine

Legislators Positive On Removal Of Prohibition During Semana Santa


The “ley seca” (dry law) that forces the closure of all bars and the sale of liquor, beer and wine during Semana Santa (Easter Week) could be a thing of the past, as the proposal to remove the prohibition on alcohol is moving quickly through the legislative process.

One of the factors to be taken into account by legislators is the findings of a “tourism commission” that will be analyzing various proposals, one of which is to eliminate the dry law.

The dry law, as it now stands, prohibits the sale of alcohol on Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa, as well as one day before, the day of and the day following presidential elections. The ban also includes an close area surrounding any public forum during presidential elections.

The non application of the dry law during the last presidential elections is a positive step to removing the ban during Semana Santa as well.

The proposal to remove the ban is gaining support among legislators and is wholly endorsed by the Cámara de Hoteles de Costa Rica.

The proposal before the legislators will also give municipalities ownership of the “patentes” (licenses) that govern the sale of alcohol, rather than private ownership is now the case.

The change would allow municipalities to charge, in addition to license fees and renewals, a 1% sales tax, which is to be used towards alcohol abuse programs.

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