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Bonaire to begin a ten-day soft lockdown.

In a press conference this evening, Bonaire’s Lt. Governor Edison Rijna announced that starting tomorrow, September 20, 2020, Bonaire will go into a “soft lockdown” for ten days, through September 30, 2020.


Currently, there are 26 active cases of COVID-19 on Bonaire.


As of today, Bonaire has 26 active cases of COVID-19.  Two persons are hospitalized. The Lt. Governor implored all on Bonaire to follow the recommendations to combat COVID-19:  Maintain your distance, maintain your hygiene, wash your hands, stay at home as much as possible.


Here is a transcript of Lt. Governor Rijna’s speech in regard to the soft lockdown:

Dear citizens, this morning we announced the new figures. Today, Saturday, September 19, a total of 16 new cases of contamination on Bonaire have been identified. Dr. Marian Luinstra-Passchier from public health will discuss the figures in a moment.


Although the majority of infections are with no- to mild-complaints, this means that we have entered a phase where stricter measures are necessary.


This is to prevent further spread of the virus on our island.


All measures will take effect on Monday, September 21 at 00:00, and it is a light version of a lockdown.


These measures apply for 10 days, so until September 30 at 11:59 PM.


What are the measures:

  • The starting point remains: stay at home as much as possible
  • Working at home is encouraged as much as possible
  • The construction sector can continue to function
  • All food and beverage outlets will be closed. Delivery and collection are allowed until a maximum of 8 PM.
  • All companies that practice so-called contact professions in the field of personal care will be closed (e.g., hairdressers, nail stylists, etc.)
  • All gyms will be closed, outdoor sports with fleeting contact, without public, is allowed.
  • Casinos are closed.
  • Funerals are allowed with a maximum of 10 people in the farewell room
  • Marriage ceremonies at the registry office are allowed without an invitee
  • Elderly care can remain open, but with guidelines from Public Health.
  • All shops, companies, and institutions will be closed with the exception of vital sectors such as healthcare (including informal care), government, financial institutions, organizations such as Selibon, BIA, and WEB.
  • The pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, and building material shops will remain open, until a maximum of 8 PM. Visitors are asked to adhere to the door policy and the maximum capacity of the stores.
  • The schools and childcare will remain open, under strict conditions of Public Health. If people test positive, the necessary measures will be taken to prevent spread.
  • Transport of people with essential professions in vans may only occur with the wearing of masks as passengers and drivers.
  • Religious activities are allowed with a maximum of 10 people.
  • All events (APK permit required) and meetings will be canceled with the exception of meetings in connection with crisis consultations. Gatherings may consist of a maximum of 10 people.
  • I have submitted a request to make Bonaire a code orange destination. If this is granted, flights from the Netherlands are still allowed, but it is advised to only make necessary trips.
  • Inter-island flights remain as it was: only for returnees and essential professions.

These are tough measures for the next 10 days. But these are important to ensure that the virus has a minimal chance of spreading. I, therefore, appeal to all residents of Bonaire, because if we take a step back now, we will soon be able to relax again.


I cannot repeat often enough, the most effective way to contain this virus is: keep five feet away, wash your hands, and stay at home as much as possible.


All current information can be found at and all other government sources.

Here is a transcript of Dr. Marian Luinstra-Passchier (Public Health Department) speech in regard to the soft lockdown:

For months we have been in the fortunate circumstances on Bonaire that we did not have a Coronavirus on the island. At the end of August, this came to an end with a few separate cases.


Last week it turned out that Dr. Hermelijn had tested positive. That was a real shock for both himself and for his patients. For Public Health, this was the first case in which absolute alertness appeared to be necessary. Many people were deployed to map out all contacts.


It soon became apparent that more positive results were received. Research shows that these positive cases can be divided into 4 clusters. These clusters can be traced back to the work atmosphere and the informal contacts after work. In other words, they are local infections, not imported. At the moment it appears that in addition to the 4 clusters, there are also several separate cases. In the case of the latter, no link has yet been made with the existing clusters. This is one of the reasons why it has been decided to take additional measures.


It is important for you to know that a large proportion of the people who have a positive result have fairly mild complaints. At the moment 2 people have been hospitalized. Fundashon Mariadal still has sufficient capacity to receive several patients.


There is plenty of testing and to give you some insight into this, we have gone from approximately 10 to 20 tests per day to 40 to 60 tests per day. We have also made a small adjustment to the test policy. As of today, housemates who live with a positive tested person are also tested even if they have no complaints. Outside of this, we only test for complaints.


We are still waiting for many test results and cannot make predictions in advance. It usually takes about 2 days before there is a result, which means that there is always some delay. With the speed at which positive test results are now coming back, it is important that the existing clusters are isolated so that the 4 fires extinguish quickly. I would like to ask you to be vigilant and adhere to the distance measures as it is still the most effective way to prevent the virus from spreading.


Keep your distance, wash your hands, stay at home, and if you have complaints, get tested.


The schools will remain open for the time being. The reason for this is that research shows that children do not transmit COVID-19 infection quickly and if they do become infected, they rarely become ill. So far it has also been found that hardly any infections occur in schools. That is reason enough to keep the schools open for the time being.

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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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