Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Upcoming Anti-Uber Protest and Taxi Driver Strike

The U.S. Embassy in San José, Costa Rica, informs U.S. citizens of a nationwide taxi driver strike against the Uber service to take place starting at 5:00 AM on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.  Current information suggests more than 13,000 demonstrators will participate across Costa Rica, with at least 7,000 individuals participating in the San Jose area alone.  Disruptions to both traffic and public transportation should be expected.  The Embassy will remain open during this time; however, the demonstrations may adversely impact those individuals with prescheduled appointments at the Embassy.  Those requesting routine Consular services who have not already made an appointment are encouraged to consider alternate dates and times.

Although no official information is available concerning the specific location of demonstration activity, U.S. citizens should expect disruptions to major thoroughfares in the San Jose metropolitan area, to include the Circunvalacion south and west of downtown San Jose, Route 32, Route 27, Route 1, and at locations in Pavas and Escazu.  Please note that this list should not be considered comprehensive or final, and demonstration venues may change as the situation develops.

The majority of protests in Costa Rica are non-violent in nature.  However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence, and some possible participants in this protest have made statements indicating that they intend to use violent measures.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  U.S. citizens are further encouraged to monitor local media for updates.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Costa Rica.  For additional information, refer to A Traveler’s Checklist on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate in San Jose is located at Av. O Calle 120, Rohrmoser. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.