Officials in the Caribbean Netherlands extend flight ban for most countries until Nov. 1 due to ongoing COVID-19 activity.
Alert Begins 01 Oct 2020 11:19 AM UTC
Alert Expires 01 Nov 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions
Authorities in the Caribbean Netherlands have again extended and slightly revised the ban on passenger flights to the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (BES) through at least Nov. 1 as part of the territories' response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Flights to and from Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten, as well as the EU countries of Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, are exempt from the ban. Only France has been removed from the exempted countries list. Cargo flights are operating normally.
BES officials retain the authority to impose their own measures as needed, and will likely maintain some of the existing restrictions on entry to the islands, albeit with more flexible measures for low-risk Caribbean countries and territories. The following additional entry restrictions are in place subject to territory-specific country risk classifications, which are constantly being revised:
- Bonaire: All travelers must complete a health declaration 48 hours before arrival. Persons arriving from Europe must present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before departure, or complete a 14-day quarantine.
- Sint Eustatius: All travelers from Europe must present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before departure. Travel for the purposes of business, tourism, and family visits are only permitted from low-risk countries. All other authorized persons (including residents, essential workers, medical referrals and returning students) from medium and high-risk destinations must complete a 14-day quarantine.
- Saba: Travel for tourism and leisure is only permitted from low-risk countries. All other authorized persons (including residents, essential workers, medical referrals and returning students) from medium- and high-risk destinations will be subject to additional testing and quarantine requirements before and after arrival.
Most businesses and facilities have been allowed to reopen across the islands, provided they adhere to social-distancing standards and enhanced sanitation procedures. Some transport and business disruptions will probably continue despite restrictions being relaxed. Stricter measures are in place in Sint Eustatius, which is under 1900-0600 curfew until Oct. 2. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.