COVID-19 and Travel to Bonaire
The Public Health Department of Bonaire is keeping themselves informed continuously by the official Health Organizations worldwide. Furthermore the Public Health Department, Tourism Sector, Harbor and Airport Authorities are in close contact about the developments worldwide. Please find below some information on the measures that have been taken by the Public Health Department of Bonaire in close collaboration with the tourism sector and Bonaire in general.
-There are at this moment (March 11, 2020) neither suspected nor confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bonaire
-There are currently no restrictions on travel to or trade being applied in Bonaire
-Screening is being done at the two entry points; Bonaire Airport and the Harbor
-Cruise ships are required to submit a health declaration to Bonaire Department of Public Health which also has the authority to carry out inspections. Cruise passengers with any symptoms of infectious disease or who are in isolation on the ship are not allowed to disembark on Bonaire.
Furthermore the following steps have been / are being taken or being recommended on Island by the Public Health Department
-There is an ongoing coronavirus awareness campaign for the general public in Bonaire
-People reporting symptoms such as cough, high fever and shortness of breath/respiratory issues, are being advised to contact their family physician by phone and provide requested information
including any travel history.
-Businesses on Bonaire are stepping up their sanitation efforts
-Hospital Fundashon Mariadal in Bonaire has designated rooms to treat suspected Covid-19 patients
including doing tests.
-The Department of Public Health Bonaire can be contacted at the following number: +599 715 5311
(during office hours only).
-Information sessions have been organized for people in Bonaire’s tourism industry, for healthcare providers and for the general public
-Information signs, videos in several languages and/or billboards are or will be placed at the entry points and flyers about the importance of basic hygiene practices are being distributed
Official statement from Public Health Department Bonaire
The Departments of Health and Tourism of Bonaire are collaborating with all government authorities on a national and international level in actively implementing Bonaire’s preparedness and response plan for COVID-19. Bonaire continues to monitor the situation of the Coronavirus locally, regionally and internationally. As of January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Please be informed that at this moment there are neither suspected nor confirmed cases of the Coronavirus reported in Bonaire, and there are no probable cases in quarantine.
In accordance with International Health Regulations (World Health Organization(W.H.O.)), Bonaire is not applying any restrictions on travel or trade. We are welcoming visitors to the destination. Bonaire is applying several measures used globally and has the capability of testing COVID-19.
All airlinepassengers, including residents, who have traveled to or taken trips originating from a high risk country within the past 14 days shall be subject to extra screening upon arrival.
If a passenger gets seriously ill during the flight, Air Traffic Control of the destination country can be notified with the request to take the necessary steps for the arrival of the flight. Besides that passengers are informed that they can report themselves at immigration if they think they have any of the symptoms and they have a history of recent travelling to a risk country or contact with a patient with COVID-19.
Any such potential cases will be subject to immediate screening by the Department of Public Health for symptoms (fever, coughing, and shortness of breath) and travel and contact history. The Department of Public Health will decide if these passengers or crew member(s) need to be quarantined or isolated.
In reference to the cruise industry, the current International Health Regulation will continue to be applied. We are in constant contact with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the latest developments. Each cruise ship is required to submit the maritime health declaration to the Harbor Master and Department of Public Health 24 hours prior to arrival. The Department of Public Health can make use of its authority to inspect the cruise ship whenever deemed necessary. As per regulation, people with health issues and cases of isolation will not be allowed to disembark from the cruise ship.
In general COVID-19 is a non-severe infectious disease. High risk groups like elderly people or persons
with a chronic disorder are more prone to a more severe infection or complications.
A local awareness campaign is active to educate and inform the public about the importance of basic
hygiene practices, such as proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces, cough and sneeze protocol. Avoid going to public places at all times when having respiratory illnesses.
All persons (residents and tourists) who are staying on Bonaire and are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness and have been in a risk country for COVID-19 in the past 14 days or have had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days are requested not to visit the hospital, medical center or general practitioner on Bonaire but to call first. The phone numbers of the general practitioners can be found online in the yellow pages https://www.findyello.com/bonaire/doctors/
All other protocols defined by the World Health Organization are also in place and shall continue to be activated accordingly.”