Bonaire returns to “Code Yellow”!
Today Island Governor Rijna announced that as far as he is concerned, Bonaire will return to travel advice color yellow, along with more flexible measures and options for travelers from North America and Curaçao.
The measures show results
Today, Island Governor Edison Rijna announced in a press conference, that yesterday he submitted an application to the Dutch authorities to revert from the travel advice color code “orange” to the milder code “yellow”.
After the stricter measures that were announced on September 19, and the subsequent increasing number of infections, no new cases of COVID-19 have appeared on our island in the past 13 days and that is proof for Mr. Rijna that if we join forces and keep the rules of hygiene and social distance, we can slow down the spread of the virus.
For that reason, in his opinion, the rules for travelers who want to travel from the Netherlands or Curaçao to Bonaire can now be relaxed. And the rules that were in force for the residents and guests of Bonaire can now be somewhat lightened. However, this will have to be done step by step, because the government wants to maintain the situation where we can monitor and control the number of cases of COVID-19. For that reason, not everything will change on a large scale and in one fell swoop, despite the good figures.
A new set, lighter measures
Island Governor Rijna announced that he wants to slowly implement some changes and see how these work in practice. And of course the government also needs to look at how the situation around COVID-19 is developing in the countries from which many travelers normally come to Bonaire, such as the Netherlands and the United States. The Lieutenant Governor distinguishes 6 phases in the corona crisis and the risks they entail. A schedule has been drawn up explaining which measures need to be taken for each phase and this schedule will soon be available on the OLB’s crisis website.
From code orange, back to yellow
On Monday, October 26, Bonaire will officially go from phase 4 to phase 3, with the rules that go with that phase. In concrete terms, this means the following:
As written, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked yesterday to switch from code orange to code yellow for Bonaire. RIVM (the Dutch CDC) is now investigating whether this is indeed possible and as soon as the result is known, Mr. Rijna will inform the people about it.
Traveling to and from Curaçao will be possible again
Travelers from Curaçao can travel to Bonaire by plane or boat from October 26, 2020. They must do a PCR test no later than 72 hours before the flight and the result must be negative. They must also complete a health statement from the Public Health Department of Bonaire. When returning to Bonaire, they must take the PCR test in Curaçao no later than 72 hours before their flight. The result must be negative. When they return to Bonaire, they do not have to be quarantined. Passengers from Sint Eustatius and Saba traveling to our island do not need to take a PCR test. These islands together with our island form the so-called safe bubble.
Guests from the United States are, via Curaçao, welcome again!
Passengers from Aruba, Sint Maarten, Canada and the United States can come to Bonaire via Curaçao! They must take a PCR test no later than 72 hours before departure and the result must be negative. They must also complete the health statement from the Public Health Department. The flight ban for direct flights from the United States will be extended by two weeks for the time being. If conditions remain favorable, according to Mr. Rijna, the measures can be relaxed even further and open to more countries when justified.
New emergency ordinance in force
The emergency ordinance that is now in force will be replaced by another one. The new emergency regulation will enter into force on Monday, October 26, 2020 and is valid until November 15, 2020. The new emergency ordinance is necessary because in this way, for example, the conditions can be arranged for passengers who want to come to Bonaire.
In short, for travelers from all countries, except the USA:
From October 26 on, passengers from all countries, may travel to Bonaire from or via the Netherlands, Curaçao or Canada. Starting October 26, there will be four flights a day from Curaçao to Bonaire from Monday to Thursday. To avoid quarantine travelers must have had a PCR test taken no earlier than 72 hours before their departure and the test result must be negative. The test has to have been taken within 72 hours of departure; point of departure being the Netherlands, Curaçao or Canada. Additionally, travelers must complete a health declaration form for the Public Health Department. This declaration may be downloaded at: https://bonairepublichealth.org/en/form
Travelers from Saba and Sint Eustatius do not need to take a PCR test.
In short, for travelers from the USA:
You can travel to Bonaire, but not directly. You will have to fly to Bonaire via Curaçao. You must undergo a PCR test 72 hours before departure and the result must be negative. The test has to have been taken within 72 hours of departure; point of departure being the Netherlands, Curaçao or Canada.
You must also complete a health declaration form for the Public Health Department 48 hours before departure. You may download the declaration form at: https://www.bonairepublichealth.org
Bonaire wants to gradually expand the number of flights to the island in the future. This will only be possible if circumstances allow it and the risks are minimal. A ban on direct flights from the United States to Bonaire is in place until mid-November.
It took a while, but today, November 3, 2020, Island Governor Edison Rijna finally announced that Bonaire will revert to the yellow travel advice color code on Wednesday, November 4. And that in line with the fact that Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, announced today that foreign travel – for Dutch people – is strongly discouraged, but that the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, including Bonaire, is not included in this advice!