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Phase 6 risk level measures now as Bonaire goes into lockdown.

In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Bonaire’s Lt. Governor Edison Rijna announced that beginning on Thursday, March 18, 2021, Phase 6 risk level measures (lockdown) apply on Bonaire for at least a two-week period.

The reason for this tightening of restrictions is the rapid increase in the number of people with a COVID-19 infection in a short period of time, including the British variant strain.  Public Health registered 328 active infections as of today. The infections lead, among other things, to great pressure on public health care. The vaccination program against the coronavirus will continue as usual.

Transcript of Lt. Governor Edison’s speech.

Dear residents,

 

I am addressing you today to share some major measures–measures I have had to take because of the alarming figures of people infected with the coronavirus here on Bonaire. Recently 158 people have been tested and 62 of them have tested positive. Today we have in all 298 active cases of COVID-19.

 

You’ll remember that I have always said that if the situation does not change, I would not hesitate to take drastic measures. I want everyone to understand the seriousness of the situation we are in now. Last Thursday I said that we would remain in Phase 5, as we still hoped to see the positive effects of the measures.

 

It is unfortunate that we still do not see a decrease in the number of active cases, even though the severe measures have been in place for 12 days. The current situation requires drastic measures. The situation also requires that each of us abide by the rules, I repeat: abide by the rules. The new measures will take effect the day after tomorrow, Thursday, March 18, 2021, for a period of two weeks. From next Thursday, Bonaire will go from risk level 5 to risk level 6. In other words: Bonaire will go into lockdown.

Phase 6 Risk Level Measures (Lockdown) on Bonaire.

In addition to the measures that apply to risk level 6, a curfew from 9:00 PM until 4:00 AM will be introduced. It is forbidden to be on the street during the curfew. Only people who have to take to the streets for work, or have permission to do so, are allowed to be on the street from 9:00 PM through 4:00 AM. If someone has to be at the GP post or to the hospital for care, that person is allowed to take to the street. The police and the Directorate of Supervision and Enforcement, together with the K-mar, will check with a heavy hand whether people adhere to the curfew.

 

In addition to the measures that apply to risk level 6, we are also introducing an alcohol ban. It is forbidden to sell alcohol at snacks and bars/restaurants. It is also illegal to drink alcohol on the street and in public places.

 

Catering establishments are allowed to provide takeaway meals. They can do this until 8:00 PM. People can pick up meals but are not allowed to queue for take-out. The staff of the catering establishment must deliver the food to the vehicle. When someone collects food, the person must remain in the car or vehicle. In accordance with risk level 6 measures, restaurants and bars of hotels are allowed to remain open, but only for hotel guests.

 

Essential shops such as supermarkets can remain open, only one person per household is allowed in.

 

All non-essential stores must remain closed.

 

All pupils continue to receive education from a distance. They are taught digitally. The schools will remain closed and will reopen on April 12, 2021, so after the Easter holidays.

 

The daycare establishments for children will remain closed.

 

In view of our situation, I urge all churches, Christian congregations, and the mosque to please stay closed until the situation has improved again. It is recommended to keep masses, services, or prayer services digital.

 

Individual sports can be practiced, but outside, not inside.

 

As far as possible, employees should continue to work from home. I have a request for all businessmen and managers:  Please arrange a health check for the staff before they start working. All employees with physical complaints must go home and make an appointment to be tested. This is in everyone’s best interest.

 

As is known, the British variant of the coronavirus is on Bonaire. It is spreading and people are quickly becoming infected on our island. The only way to stop this is to take tougher measures and stick to them. We see that families or people still visit each other, they also visit the sick. I want to emphasize that this is not possible during the lockdown.

 

I am aware that the new measures have a major impact on our way of life. That people can feel uncomfortable or even unhappy because they can no longer move freely now that there is a  curfew and an alcohol ban. It is important that we continue to exercise in the days ahead. To eat well and live a healthy life. Go to bed on time and rest well, I call on everyone to look out for each other, to take good care of each other. If you find that the situation is making you depressed, seek help. Talk to your people. Contact your family doctor and let the doctor advise you on what to do.

 

I make an urgent appeal to everyone to take good care of themselves. Take care of yourself and keep doing that. Stick to the measures and keep doing that. We have the opportunity to control the situation. It depends on you, on me, and on all of us whether we will succeed.  We can. If only we want to.

List of essential stores and vital functions and services.

I. Care, including informal care, purchase, and transport of medicines and medical tools;

II. Funeral homes and crematoriums;

III. Police, Coastguard, other services responsible for maintaining public order and Investigation and Police Doctor;

IV. Defense and Royal Netherlands Marechaussee;

V. Public Prosecution Service;

VI. Customs;

VII. Critical positions at Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland;

VIII. Critical functions at the Public Entity of Bonaire;

IX. Legal system, including lawyers and civil-law notaries;

X. Teachers, insofar as they provide digital education and/or care for parents of vital take care of professions;

XI. Critical functions in the representation of third countries Bonaire (Consuls);

XII. Prison and other correctional institutions;

XIII. Private security and surveillance companies;

XIV. Airport, air traffic control, and air traffic safety;

XV. Meteorological service;

XVI. Ports, pilot services, port security inspection, and port state control;

XVII. Public transport;

XVIII. Food chain (broad) concerns supermarkets, mini markets, tokos, bread bakeries, wholesale and import, food transport, local production, processing and delivery, food banks, animal nutrition;

XIX. Production, storage, transport, and distribution of fuels (refined products);

XX. Production and distribution of water and electricity;

XXI. Production and supply of products for cleaning and disinfection, inclusive laundries;

XXII. Financial services, including insurance companies and credit institutions;

XXIII. Transportation of waste and refuse, including the landfill;

XXIV. Sale and transport of building materials;

XXV. Construction work, repair work, maintenance, and work on the infrastructure;

XXVI. Media and telecommunications;

XXVII. Internet and data services;

XXVIII. Postal services;

XXIX. Hotels

XXX. Continuity of emergency services:

a. Control room processes;

b. Firefighting;

c. Ambulance care;

d. Crisis management and disaster relief.

For additional information about Phase 6 Risk Level measures on Bonaire, visit the official crisis management website of the island government.

(Source:  OLB)


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Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, a certified bird guide, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


 

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