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Bonaire update on the COVID-19 and flight restrictions by Lt. Governor Rijna.

This afternoon, Bonaire’s Lt. Governor Edison Rijna provided an update on the COVID-19 situation on Bonaire as well as providing additional information about the current flight restrictions in place.

Here is a transcript of his speech:

Dear Citizens of Bonaire,


Today I will start with some less positive news. Yesterday the sad news reached us that Doctor Hermelijn died in the hospital in Curacao from the consequences of Covid 19. This is the third death on Bonaire as a result of Covid 19. Dr. Hermelijn’s passing is a great loss to the community. We offer his family and loved ones sincere condolences.


Today I am not able to announce further easing of the current measures, however much I would like to. We are cautiously positive about the data. It is good to see that we have had so few infections in the past week, but at the same time, we have also observed that fewer tests are being done. We need to continue testing to keep a clear picture of the status of the virus and whether it is still spreading or not. So again I appeal to you: if you have symptoms get tested!


Since current developments and the data show a favorable picture we have already started a number of new processes. These concern travel, gyms, and casinos. I would like to tell you something more about this matter.


If the number of infections remains low and stable, next Wednesday I hope to be able to inform you of an easing of measures applicable to air traffic and also when we may be able to implement them.


Currently, we are preparing to create more flexible conditions for inbound travel from the islands around us. Our priority in this matter is Curacao. However, this requires careful consideration. If circumstances permit more flexibility, we will be sure to put additional measures in place. You will hear more about this on Wednesday.


At the moment, Bonaire is still a code-orange destination for travelers coming from the European Netherlands. If the current decline in numbers continues, we will consider it justified to submit a request to return to code yellow. I hope to be able to do this next week. My request will be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assessment. As we are in direct contact with the Ministry, it is expected that Bonaire will be able to return to code yellow within one to two days after the application has been submitted. We are mindful of the safety of our island, especially now that the number of infections in the Netherlands is high. On Wednesday we will also communicate potential new requirements for entry from the Netherlands.


I do realize that it is important for the tourism sector to know when flights from the United States and other destinations will again be welcome on Bonaire. There is currently an airspace ban on flights from the United States. We are also investigating under which conditions this ban may be lifted.


In addition to the developments related to travelers, I can report the following about gyms and casinos. This week we have held talks with the representatives of these venues. They have all devised plans on how to open again in a safe manner. We hope that the gyms and casinos will be able to open again sometime next week.


I am pleased to be able to slowly but surely offer a more favorable outlook to our residents and entrepreneurs. Let’s work together to keep the numbers low. Together let’s be corona smart!


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(Source:  OLB and RCN)

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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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