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Bonaire’s Road Map for the Future After COVID-19.

Bonaire’s “road map” to re-opening announced.

In a press conference this afternoon, Lt. Governor Edison Rijna announced that Bonaire’s road map for re-opening the island is now ready for implementation.  This plan will guide the re-opening of Bonaire, little by little, and is intended to provide additional “space” for both the island residents as well as the island’s visitors.  This road map was prepared in consultation with major island stakeholders.

The chance of seeing a COVID-19 infection is now very small.

With no new cases since April, the chance for contracting a  COVID-19 infection on Bonaire is now very small.  Since June 12th, the island has been open for inter-island traffic with Curacao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten.  Additionally, residents and students abroad have been repatriated, and Bonaire has not seen any new cases.

Special protective measures remain in place throughout the implementation of Bonaire’s road map.

Bonaire’s road map calls for re-opening for travel (inbound and outbound) in small increments.  Medical capabilities are now in place to handle an infection should it arrive with incoming passengers.  However, it remains imperative that all residents and visitors alike strongly adhere to the new hygiene measures put into place to protect them:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • If you must cough, cough into an elbow
  • Do not shake hands
  • Keep social distancing of at least 1.5 meters/5 feet

If these simple measures are followed, the chance of contracting the virus is greatly minimized.  Further, the mindset will be in place, by following these measures now, as the island opens to additional visitors in small steps.

The re-opening of Bonaire to tourist travel.

As announced earlier, July 1st visitors from low-risk countries in Europe (The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Germany–no more than 1000 per week) may begin to travel to Bonaire.  Airlines have protocols in place, and, additionally, restrictions are in place to limit the arrival of the virus with arriving visitors, so those arriving must:

  • Have completed a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight. The result of the test must be negative (i.e., they are not infected with the Coronavirus). This also applies to residents who have been in these countries.
  • Upon arrival on Bonaire, they must provide the result of the test.
  • They can move freely around the island.
  • If they are unwell and have symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay in their hotel or vacation home.
  • They should then call the Public Health Department. The Public Health Department determines whether a test is necessary and ensures that the person is tested if necessary. The person must remain in his/her room until the test result is known.
  • They must have travel and accident insurance so that they are covered against additional medical costs on Bonaire.
  • The Public Body Bonaire (OLB) is not responsible for passengers who cannot return to their country of origin.
  • All visitors to the island must adhere to hygiene measures.

Special protocols have been developed and are being put into place.

Special protocols have been developed and are being enacted quickly.  These include protocols for airlines, hotels, tourism activity companies, the airport, and the port.  At this time, the island is looking at November as the time when cruise tourism to the region will be re-activated..

The situation will continue to be monitored, and protocols and regulations may change at any time.

View the entire press conference (presented in Papiamentu).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(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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