Bonaire to reopen for direct flights from the USA and Canada.
In a press conference this afternoon, Lt. Governor Edison Rijna advised that the current flight ban on direct flights from the USA and Canada would expire tonight as scheduled and it will not be extended.
Both American Airlines and United Airlines are currently scheduled to return to normal Bonaire direct service beginning on February 13th, 2021. Delta is scheduled to begin as early as February 6th.
COVID-19 cases on Bonaire down slightly.
Additionally, Lt. Governor Rijna provided an update on the COVID-19 cases on Bonaire. Dr. Marian Luinstra-Passchier also provided an in-depth look into the recent statistics regarding the virus and cases on Bonaire.
Here is a transcript of Lt. Governor Rijna’s speech:
Today I will be brief. Last week the Temporary Act COVID-19 was amended. This means, among other things, that the flight ban that was imposed on the BES islands has been lifted from tonight onwards. This is why flights from, for example, Canada and the US will be allowed to come to our islands again. The airlines, however, must adhere to the new legislation regarding checking of PCR tests. In practice, it will take a while before air traffic to Bonaire is fully underway again, so it will take some time before we will be welcoming our first flights from the United States and Canada.
Last week I also announced that the Supervision and Enforcement Directorate, together with the KPCN (Dutch Caribbean Police Force), would take strict action should entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry not comply with the rules. At that moment I also stated that the time for issuing warnings was over. Last Tuesday inspectors from the Supervision and Enforcement Directorate, together with KPCN, penalized and shut down seven hospitality establishments. A total of 16 hospitality establishments were inspected that evening. Yesterday, on Thursday, checks were also carried out, but no fines were issued that day because everyone had complied with the rules.
The measures I announced last week remain in force. I am counting on all of you to abide by the rules. Together we can get the coronavirus under control if everyone does their part.
Here is a transcript of Dr. Marian Luinstra-Passchier’s speech:
I would like to start by cautiously giving you some good news: in recent days we have seen a slight decrease in the number of positive cases. Today we received 81 test results, of which 7 were positive.
In recent days, we have experienced some delays in the processing of the laboratory results. Because the results from several days were coming in at the same time, we would sometimes see a surge of up to 26 positive results per day. These laboratory problems have now been solved.
Our daily reports are based on the results that we receive that same day. We have now made an overview based on the test date and the first day of illness. This provides a clearer overall picture of the distribution of the infections. In diagram 1 the yellow bars indicate the first day of illness and the blue bars indicate the test date.
Diagram 1: outbreak epi curve
As you can see from this diagram, the number of new cases is decreasing. To outline this development even more clearly, we have shown the average of the cases reported per seven days in diagram 2.
Diagram 2: seven-day average of the number of new cases per day
The graph clearly shows a decline in numbers. This means that the number of new infections per day is dropping. Please note: the red line numbers may still rise slightly due to the results of new contact tracing.
As I said, cautiously, there is some good news, but we are not out of the woods yet!
As you are aware, measures were tightened from 9 January last week. The effect of which will only be seen between 15 and 22 January, 2021. We hope that the number of positive cases will decrease even more. To achieve this we need the cooperation of each and every one.
This is why we have advised the Lieutenant Governor not to change the measures we currently have in place. Obviously, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and if the Public Health Department concludes that the measures may be relaxed or should be made more stringent, we will immediately advise that specific course of action.