Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Officials in the Caribbean Netherlands extend flight ban for most countries until Aug. 1 due to COVID-19 activity.

  • Alert Begins: 02 Jul 2020 11:45 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 02 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Authorities have extended the ban on passenger flights to the Caribbean Netherlands islands through at least Aug. 1, as part of the territories' efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while reopening the islands' economy. Flights to and from Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten, as well as the EU countries of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, are not part of the ban, and cargo flights are operating normally. Officials in Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius will also likely continue to maintain restrictions on entry to the islands, especially for nonresidents, until further notice. All returning citizens and legal residents will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

Most businesses and facilities reopened across the islands mid-May, provided they adhere to social-distancing standards and enhanced sanitation procedures. Transport and business disruptions are likely to persist, despite the easing of internal restrictions, as operating requirements remain. Authorities could reapply or amend restrictions at short notice.

Background and Analysis
Several governments globally have implemented recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, previously relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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