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Welcome to the crisis website of the Public Entity Bonaire. This website is online when there is a crisis. That is why you can now find all information about COVID-19 on this website.

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Q&A’s travel to Bonaire

This information is compiled by the Public Entity of Bonaire, in cooperation with the department of Public Health. This overview will be kept as up to date as possible.

Developments with respect to COVID-19 are unpredictable, and therefore, circumstances can change. Please keep an eye out for our press releases via Facebook (Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire) and other Bonaire news outlets.

No rights can be derived from the information in this FAQ overview. 

Travellers to Bonaire

Departing from which country are travellers allowed entry on Bonaire with respect to the covid-19 risks?

As of September 16th 2020, Bonaire considers the following countries as low risk for COVID-19 contamination introduction to Bonaire:

  • The Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Saba (Saba is a part of the air bubble; the PCR test and quarantine requirements do not apply for travellers from Saba).

Travellers arriving on Bonaire from these countries, will be allowed entry on Bonaire, under the condition they have met the other entry requirements (see: what are the requirements to follow when travelling to Bonaire). 

Any changes in this list will be communicated as soon as possible via a press release.

Travelling to Bonaire from any other country is highly discouraged at this moment: any costs related to being denied entry on Bonaire and/or imposed quarantine measures in a central quarantine location will be at your own risk. 

What are the requirements to follow when traveling to Bonaire?

You can travel to Bonaire when you: 

  • All travellers, 13 years and older, are obliged to go into quarantine for a period of 14 days, unless they can show a negative COVID-19 PCR test that is not older than 72 hours at the moment of departure for Bonaire. This applies solely to travellers that are travelling to Bonaire from Europe.
  • complete a health declaration form within 48 hours before departure via www.bonairepublichealth.org. 
  • have stayed for a minimum of 14 consecutive days in a low risk country for COVID-19 (at this moment these are: Saba, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland).
  • do not show any COVID-19 related symptoms (a runny nose, a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, loss of smell and/or taste, elevated temperature or fever) upon departure.
  • have not been in direct contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient for the last 14 days.

Furthermore, Bonaire advises travelers to Bonaire to check if they have medical insurance during their stay in Bonaire, and if not, to make arrangements for this by purchasing appropriate travel insurance.

Why do I need to have travel insurance

Medical costs incurred during your stay on Bonaire will be charged to you, including other costs related to COVID-19. Travelers are responsible for the purchase of travel insurance. 

Please contact your insurance company to check if medical costs incurred on Bonaire are covered.

What are the regulations for transit passengers that land on Bonaire?

As long as you remain on board, the regulations of your final destination apply. In case you are requested to leave the plane and wait in the transit hall, the regulations of that airport need to be followed (for Bonaire see protocol Flamingo International Airport). Should you, due to unforeseen circumstances, need to stay on Bonaire, the regulations for travelers from non-safe countries apply. The general hygiene measures of the airline need to followed during the flight.

Where can I find the health declaration form and how and where do I hand it in?

You can complete the form online at https://bonairepublichealth.org/en/form. Upon completion you will receive an email with the form that you have completed and a brochure with relevant COVID-19 related information during your stay on Bonaire. If deemed necessary, the Public Health Department of Bonaire will contact you for further clarification. 

You will need to print your form and/or keep a digital copy of it on your phone, tablet or computer. You may be asked to show this to a representative of the Public Health Department of Bonaire.

Will I be tested at the airport in Bonaire?

No, you there is no standard test procedure at the airport on Bonaire. Should the Public Health Department deem it necessary for you to be tested  upon arrival, they will decide where the test will be performed.

Travelling from bonaire

What are the requirements to follow when i travel to a destination from Bonaire?

The requirements for traveling to a destination when leaving Bonaire, are the responsibility of the destination country. Please check the conditions for the destination country on https://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/reizen or get in touch with the airline you are flying with of your travel agent, or check the www of the country of destination.

When departing from Flamingo Bonaire International Airport, you are requested to follow the Airports’ guidelines. You can find them on

http://www.bonaireinternationalairport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/PROTOCOL-BIA-COVID-19-Versie-3-22-6-2020-def.pdf.

Information for Everyone living or residing in Bonaire

Basic rules that need to be followed by everybody in Bonaire

  • Maintain 1.5 meters distance from other people that are not your household members
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; use only hand disinfectant in case water or soap in not available
  • Do not touch your face with your hands
  • Do not shake hands
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use
  • Stay home.  Work from home, do not go to school, do not go outside for shopping, should you answer the following questions positively: 
    • Have you experienced the last 24 hours or currently one of the following symptoms: a nasal cold, a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, elevated temperature, fever, sudden loss of smell and/or taste?
    • Have you had the new corona virus (identified by a laboratory test) and has this been diagnosed the last 7 days?
    • Do you have a household member that is diagnosed with the new corona virus (identified by a laboratory test, and have you been in contact with that person when they were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?
    • Are you currently in quarantine because you were in direct contact with someone identified with the corona virus? 
    • Have  you traveled during the past 14 days to countries not being Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Luxemburg?

When should I wear a facemask?

You have to wear a facemask in Bonaire when it is not possible to keep the 1,5 meters distance from people that are not direct household members. In addition, you will need to wear a facemask in the airplane, while arriving at or departing from Flamingo Bonaire International Airport and during the transportation to your holiday address.

Which number could I call when I have COVID-19 related symptoms and what happens next?

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • a nasal cold
  • a runny nose
  • sneezing
  • a sore throat
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • elevated temperature
  • fever
  • sudden loss of smell and/or taste, 

you should contact the Public Health Department on 0 800 – 0 800. Follow their instructions. If they confirm your symptoms, they will organize a COVID-19 test. It is important to self-isolate in the event of respiratory complaints. This entails staying at home, not receiving visitors and limiting contact with your household members to a minimum.

Who will pay for the costs when i test positive for COVID-19 or have to stay in quarantine?

In case you need to go into quarantine, you are responsible for any related costs.

In case you will need to go in isolation, this might be medical costs: these costs might be reimbursed by your medical insurance depending on the conditions of your insurance company. 

Residents of Bonaire, insured by ZVK, will be reimbursed for the costs of isolation. 

It is recommended to check with your insurance company which costs will be reimbursed.

COVID-19 tests and test policy

What is the policy on testing for COVID-19 when visiting or living in Bonaire?

A COVID-19 PCR test will be performed when a person suffers from any of the following symptoms: 

  • a nasal cold
  • a runny nose
  • sneezing
  • a sore throat
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • elevated temperature
  • fever
  • sudden loss of smell and/or taste. 

All persons with respiratory symptoms are requested to isolate themselves until the tests results are known.

What are the requirements for the COVID-19 test before departure to Bonaire?

Incoming travelers 13 years and older need to undergo a COVID-19  PCR test 72 hours before departure. This requirement has been installed in order to protect the public health of inhabitants of Bonaire. 

The following requirements have been set for these tests:

  • Only PCR test results are valid. A smear is taken from the nose and throat with a cotton swab.
  • An accredited laboratory should perform the test.
  • The test result should be no older than 72 hours before departure to Bonaire. 
  • You will only be allowed entry on Bonaire if the test result is negative.

Where can I have a COVID-19 PCR test done in the netherlands?

There are a number of different places where you can have a COVID-19 PCR test done in The Netherlands, such as:

  • KLM health services
  • The laboratory of your general practitioner
  • Saltro laboratory

Is a PCR test mandatory before I travel to Bonaire?

You are required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure to Bonaire. In the event you arrive on Bonaire without a test result, you are required to go into quarantine in a quarantine location that will be appointed to you by the Bonairean authorities, at your own cost. This is due to the small size of the island and the available health care capacity in the region. 

In the health declaration form you need to state if you have had a COVID-19 PCR test done within 72 hours before departure, and what the result of the test was.

I have read that commercial tests could come out positive if you had corona 3 months previously; is this correct?

Bonaire accepts only results form tests executed by an accredited laboratory. This will limit the possibility of false positives. In the event of a positive result of a PCR test, please contact your general practitioner or the public health authority in your country, and follow their instructions.

Quarantaine and isolation in relation to covid-19

When do you need to go into quarantine in your own home or at your vacation address and when do you need to go to a central quarantine facility?

Travelers coming from low risk COVID-19 countries, that have no symptoms and are without further specifics, do not have to go into quarantine upon arrival on Bonaire. 

The following persons will need to go into quarantine:

  • Travelers that were staying in a high-risk country 14 days prior to arriving on Bonaire, need to go into quarantine for 14 days, immediately upon arrival, in a central quarantine location, at their own costs. Please note that this does not mean that it is allowed to travel to Bonaire from a high-risk country.
  • if someone in your household or a travel companion or someone else that you have been in close contact with, tested positive for COVID-19. The quarantine will be at your home, at your holiday address or in a designated quarantine location, depending on the reason for the quarantine and the circumstances at your (vacation) address. 

In cooperation with the hotels on Bonaire, a hotel has been appointed as the central quarantine location.

Travellers to Bonaire need to be aware that the costs associated with having to go into quarantine will be charged to them.

When will you need to go into isolation and can you go into isolation at home or your holiday address?

When you experience COVID-19 symptoms, you will be asked to stay inside and limit contact with your household members as much ass possible. This is called isolation. You are requested to contact the Public Health department in Bonaire 0 800 – 13 51. They will arrange a PCR test.

Isolation takes place at your holiday address, in your hotel room, or in your own home or in a designated location if your holiday address is not suitable for isolation. In cooperation with the hotels on Bonaire, a hotel has been appointed as the central isolation location. This location will also be used for persons of whom the home situation of the holiday address is not suited for isolation. 

Non-residents of Bonaire need to pay for the costs involved with isolation. Residents of Bonaire are covered for these costs through the ZVK insurance.

Questions on the risk of COVID-19 contamination

How high is the risk for a contaminated person to enter Bonaire, based on the current measures?

An estimate on the risk of a COVID-19 contamination introduction on Bonaire is made based on the epidemiological situation in the country or state of origin of the travelers. The risk of COVID-19 introduction is obviously higher through a tourist from high prevalence countries than from low prevalence countries.

 

To limit the change that a COVID-19 contaminated travellers enters Bonaire, we have: 

  • limited the number of low prevalence countries for COVID-19 from which it is allowed to travel to Bonaire, 
  • made it compulsory  for each traveler to submit a health declaration form within 48 hours before departure,
  • require all travelers 13 years or older to take a COVID-19 PCR test, within 72 hours before departure.

These measures will ensure an acceptable risk level in relationship to the health care capacity on Bonaire that a contaminated traveller enters Bonaire.

what is the chance that you are contaminated with COVID-19 when you are showing symptoms?

At this moment, a bit over 3% of all persons tested in the Netherlands with potential COVID-19 related symptoms, are tested positive for COVID-19.  These numbers are rising rapidly in the Netherlands and surrounding countries; we are monitoring the situation very closely.

i have been in contact with a person that tested positive for covid-19: what do i need to do?

I you have been within 1.5 meter for longer than 15 minutes of this person, please stay at home and call 0800 – 0800 for further advice.

If you have been within 1.5 meter less than 15 minutes of this person, please call 0800 – 0800 for further advice.

General questions

Why are there different regulations in Bonaire compared to Curacao and/or Aruba?

Each island decides on the conditions for entering, based on the local situation, and in line with the responsibilities of the local governments of the islands. 

Experts and policy makers of the 6 islands are constantly in contact, as well as with the Netherlands concerning entry requirements. Regulations are synchronized as much as possible. 

Is there an emergency ordinance currently in place?

Yes. This regulation outlines the prerequisites for entry to Bonaire, and lies down the current quarantine measures. The information in this Q&A are in line with this regulation. The emergency ordinance further specifies further measure.  Please read the current emergency ordinance at this website, to be informed in the best possible manner.

What criteria IS the basis for the decision if a country is considered ‘safe’ or ‘at risk’?

Whether a country is safe, is considered every two weeks, as recommended by the RIVM, taking into account the health care capacity of the island.

How well is the healthcare capacity in Bonaire organized?

At the end of June all COVID-19 related health care aspects were evaluated on Bonaire with the general practitioners, the hospital, the public health department, the laboratory and the public entity. Amongst other aspects, we have considered testing policy, source of contamination and contacts tracing, quarantine and isolation policies and emergency medical care. The conclusion was that all these areas are in principle sufficiently organized, allowing to soften the measures.

Which protocols are currently in place?

Based on the recommendations of the RIVM, Bonaire has implemented a number of basic rules and entry measures. Protocols have been established based on these measures, in close cooperation with the Public Health Department: 

These protocols are also included in the Bonaire COVID-19 roadmap.

In addition, individual organizations and businesses have established their own protocols. They communicate these through their own channels.

How long will traveller information be saved?

It is important for the contamination source and contact tracing procedures for traveller information to be available for a maximum of 14 days after departure of the traveler, in case of a COVID-19 contamination of a potential contact with the traveler. The Public Health Department keeps the contact details of a traveler to Bonaire for a maximum of 14 days after departure.

Hotels, resorts and transportation providers for tourists, maintain logbooks of potential contact with and between tourists. These will be saved for 14 days after departure as well.

Is bonaire going into a lockdown immediately if there is a new COVID-19 case?

The risk for COVID-19 contaminations is definitely a reality for Bonaire. Bonaire has worked hard to extend the capacities of the medical services. We are well prepared for possible future contaminations in order to avoid the necessity for an immediate lockdown in the event of a COVID-19 case.

Depending on the situation authorities will consider the measures that need to be taken to protect Bonaire’s population of a COVID-19 contamination outbreak. Appropriate scenarios have been created, taking into consideration the local situation, in combination with the epidemiological situation in the countries from which it is considered safe at that moment to travel from to Bonaire.

How much time will there be between the announcement and implementation of a flight restriction and could I still travel home?

If it is deemed necessary to implement flight restrictions, there is no guarantee for Bonaire’s residents that they can return home. In practice, organizing flight restrictions will take a while. This period could be used to return home, but as stated earlier, no guarantees are given. 

In addition, when you travel from Bonaire, take into account the situation in your destination country as well: it the situation changes there, there will be no guarantee to return to Bonaire as well.

How is the maximum of 1000 passengers per week to Bonaire monitored?

This is done through the monitoring of incoming flights to Bonaire. The total number of passengers can be extended or limited, based on the consideration of the total number of possible contaminations and the capacity of the health care in Bonaire.

How will we deal with cruise passengers when cruise ships aree allowed to visit Bonaire?

At this moment it is unknown when cruise ships will (be allowed to) visit Bonaire again. When requests for port calls will be received, the authorities will consider the risks for COVID-19 contamination, in relationship to the health care capacity, and take appropriate measures. At this moment, the basic rules apply for all people in Bonaire, citizens and visitors, as well as visitors arriving by boat.