Northern border crossing will have 24-hour days of operation

Because of the flood of travelers, the Peñas Blancas border crossing will remain open 24 hours a day for Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, said the Dirección General de Migración.

However, the agency referred any questions about possible reinstatement of the $5 land exit tax to the Ministerio de Hacienda.

For the rest of the days, the border posts will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, except Christmas and New Year’s Day when employees will work until 6 p m., the agency said.

To speed up the border crossing, immigration police will conduct checks of international buses in Liberia, said the agency. That technique has been successful in past years, the agency said.

In the first 15 days of the month 152,602 persons have left Costa Rica for Nicaragua and 139,445 have entered the country. That represents 3 per cent fewer persons than last year, the agency said.

The exit tax was suspended when not having a way to pay at the border created chaos. The tax is expected to be reinstated when credit card machines are available at the major border crossing points. Officials expected travelers to pay the tax at a bank even though most did not know of the tax.

Officials rushed to get the tax into effect to catch the heavy flow of travelers over the holiday.

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