Speech by Island Governor Edison Rijna on March 3rd 2022

Home » Speech by Island Governor Edison Rijna on March 3rd 2022

Bon tardi everyone,

Today I am speaking to you with a different tone, a tone that is less worrisome than it has been for the past two years. I am happy to tell you that the number of people infected with Covid has dropped hugely, even since the measures have been relaxed.

Today we have 21 active cases and no people are hospitalized because of coronavirus. We may ascertain that at the moment the virus is no longer spreading on a large scale on our island.

That is why from tomorrow 4 March, 2022 all measures that are not travel related will be eased on the island. This includes –among other things- that it is no longer mandatory to keep one and a half meters distance from each other or to wear a face mask in public areas. Please do keep in mind, however, that shop and other venue owners are allowed to decide for themselves which rules will apply in their shops, such as wearing a face mask. It will also be permitted to organize all sports activities and festivities both indoors and outdoors again, just as we used to do before coronavirus made its appearance.

Only the basic rules will still apply:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • Keep your house clean and ventilate it regularly

On our website www.bonairecrisis.com you will be able to see what the changes are that will come into effect tomorrow.

From next week on we will only announce the infection numbers once a week.

In the coming weeks, the entry conditions for Bonaire from abroad will also be relaxed further. This is being done in consultation with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in The Hague. We will inform you about these changes as soon as possible.

It would appear that we are entering a new phase, a phase in which we will be going back to the old normal. In this new phase, beginning tomorrow, I would like to ask everyone to please have consideration for the vulnerable people around us. Our elderly, adults and children with serious illnesses may become very ill should they be infected with coronavirus. If you visit someone whose health is fragile, it is recommended to first do a self-test to be safe, and please also wear a face mask in such cases.

I also would like to request our vulnerable people on the island to go and get a vaccination or booster; because that gives better protection against becoming seriously ill, should you get the virus. In the coming weeks we will be providing you with information about how we can continue to interact with each other in a safe manner.

I hope we can keep the number of infections low. Unfortunately, we can never know in advance whether a new variant will pop up or when this will be. We have no control over that. What we do control, however, is how we continue to take good care of ourselves and others. Should a new variant appear, we will again consider what is needed and build upon our experiences of recent years.

It has taken us a lot of time and sacrifice in order to reach this point where we can drop the measures. It was a difficult time, with many challenges. I am proud that we were able to get this done and it is all thanks to you. I would like to thank everyone in our society who contributed to this from the bottom of my heart. It is thanks to our good behavior and our collective actions that we have come to this point. Thank you again for your understanding and the sacrifices you have made to achieve this.

Dear people, for two years in a row I had to tell you that the celebration of Dia di Rincon could not take place. I am extremely happy to announce today that, now that we have no more measures in place, the Dia di Rincon celebration can go ahead as it has in the past.

Let’s celebrate together and enjoy the fact that we can go back to the life we ​​were used to. But let us also continue to take into account the vulnerable people in our society.

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