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.

Last update: July 23rd 2021

This information has been compiled by the Public Entity of Bonaire (OLB) in collaboration with the Public Health Department Bonaire and other organizations.

The list is continually updated. The developments surrounding COVID-19 are unpredictable; situations, rules and circumstances may change at any moment.

For the latest news please see the OLB press releases on its Facebook page.

If you have a question that is not yet included in the list, please e-mail it to info@bonairegov.com

No rights can be derived from the information on the Q&A list. 

Q&A medical

Tests and testing policy

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 0800 – 0800 (Mon to Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sun 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.). 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.

I cannot reach the Public Health Department number 0800-0800 using a foreign phone. Is there another number I can call?

It is possible that the 0800-0800 number may not be accessible with a foreign phone. In such a case you may phone +599 715 5399 during office hours or you could ask, for example, your hotel to place the call for you.

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.

Where on Bonaire can tourists and residents get tested for coronavirus before their trip abroad?

If you need a test result in order to be able to travel abroad, you may obtain one from a number of commercial parties on Bonaire:

The Public Health Department will only test you if you have symptoms.

If someone who has been vaccinated has a positive corona test at a later date, could that be related to the vaccination?

No, the vaccination itself does not affect a corona-test result or an antigen-test result. A vaccination does not leave any traces of the coronavirus in the body, so if someone receives a positive corona-test result (i.e. is infected) that has nothing to do with the vaccination.

Where can I have a PCR test and an antigen test done before my trip to Bonaire?

Currently there are a number of different parties who perform PCR tests in the Netherlands, such as KLM health services, Het Huisartslab and Saltro laboratorium. Tests administered by other accredited laboratories are also permitted, as long as they provide a written or digital confirmation of the result.

Tests done by laboratories outside of the Netherlands are also permitted, provided they are accredited and they communicate the result in Dutch or English.
There are several locations in the Netherlands where the antigen test (quick test) can be taken.
For information on test locations in numerous other countries please visit the website: https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/documents/frequently-asked-questions/where-can-i-get-a-pcr-or-rapid-test-outside-the-netherlands

There is a person who has had COVID-19 and was subsequently declared to be healthy again. When this person undergoes a corona test, the test result is positive. Can this person still come to Bonaire?

Yes, that is allowed, but there are conditions.
This person must submit a statement (in Dutch or English) issued by the Municipal Health Service (GGD) which includes:
* Full name
* Date of birth
* Details regarding the first day of illness
* Details about when this person stopped being contagious
* Details about the travel dates (beware, in order to get a permission the travel date may not be more than a maximum of two months after the date when this person stopped being contagious ).

This information must be emailed -together with the completed health declaration form from the Public Health Department- to publichealth@bonairegov.com This must be done within 72 hours and no later than 48 hours prior to departure.

This person will then receive an e-mail from the Public Health Department stating whether they will be given permission to enter Bonaire. In such cases the Public Health Department will also inform the airline of the decision. For the health declaration form please go to: https://www.bonairepublichealth.org

https://www.bonairepublichealth.org

Does it make sense to get tested while I have no symptoms?

No, because this does not provide any reliable result. Today the test result may be negative and then the next day it may be positive. A test is only useful if you have any signs or symptoms. In that case a test may indicate that the symptoms are caused by the coronavirus.

What is the procedure after you make an appointment to get tested?

After you phone the Call Center and make an appointment, the test is usually administered the following morning. On the day of the appointment you will need to drive to the Public Health Department’s test location opposite the stadium at Kaya Gilberto F. Croes number 24. Please wear a face mask and bring tissues. When you arrive, the test procedure will be explained to you and then the test will be administered. This will take a few minutes. After the test you should drive straight home. Do not stop at the supermarket but drive straight home. You must remain at home until you are called with the test result. Usually it takes about three days until you receive that call.

You have been tested by the Public Health Department. What’s next?

* Stay at home until the results are known.
* Are you getting sicker or do you need medical help? Do not go to the hospital or the GP. Call the general
practitioner and tell him that you have been tested.
* Take care of personal hygiene.
* Keep a distance of 1.5 meters from housemates.
* Write down who you have had contact with in the
past few days.
In case of a positive test result, Public Health will contact you for information and instructions.
In case of a negative test result you do not have to stay at home anymore. Abide by the general prevailing rules. In the event of new or increasing complaints, have yourself tested again. Do you have a negative result, but you are in quarantine? Then you need to stay in quarantine until this is completed.

There are children with symptoms that could be related to the coronavirus, but they are not getting tested. Why is that?

It is not the case that the Public Health department does not want to test children. If it is necessary children will certainly be tested. However, the test is very unpleasant, especially for small children and that is why we are only testing them if it is really necessitated. Whether testing is necessary is decided jointly with the parents and if needed it is discussed with the family doctor. It depends on the type of symptoms the child is having and whether it had already been in quarantine (and therefore posed no risk to others). In addition we examine whether other family members have symptoms, whether they have been tested or may be tested. Sometimes during this process it becomes evident whether the child has COVID-19 or not . What the Public Health Department deems to be vital is that the child receives proper care and that it does not pose any risk to others.

Why do the reports about the COVID numbers not include more background information about the infections? This is what they do on Curacao.

This is done to protect the privacy of the people who are infected. There are relatively few infections on Bonaire and if more information is provided, it would be easy to determine who the infected people are.
When it is important to quickly share information about a certain case of infection, this is done. Such was the case, for example, when one of the family doctors on the island was infected.

Are people tested at the end of their quarantine period?

People in quarantine are advised to have a PCR test done on the fifth day of their quarantine. At the Public Health Department test lane.

People who test negative on the fifth day are then allowed to leave quarantine. They must, however, be careful for the remaining five days after that, and they must stay away from people in vulnerable-health groups.

If someone does not want to be tested on the fifth day, they must complete ten days of quarantine.

When traveling to Bonaire I will need to obtain a corona test from an accredited laboratory. May I use the GGD (Municipal Health Service)?

No, the GGDs in the Netherlands only test people with symptoms. The test they provide is not meant for healthy people who want to travel. They also do not provide the written test results in your name, which you are required to present when you board and when you disembark on Bonaire. There are several organizations in the Netherlands that provide the test. You may verify whether they work with accredited labs on their websites. Using search terms such as ‘travel test corona’ you will be able to find several providers on the internet.

Questions about the risk of infection

My colleague has tested positive, what should I do now?

If your colleague has tested positive, they must go into isolation. The Public Health Department (PG) will inform the person in question about what that entails in detail.

PG and the colleague who has tested positive will jointly identify who their contacts were.
Depending upon the extent the person who tested positive has been in close contact with others, PG may also advise other colleagues to be quarantined as a precaution.

In consultation with the colleague who tested positive, co-workers and other contacts will be notified and will receive PG’s quarantine information explaining what quarantine entails and the rules to be observed.

If you were in close contact with your colleague while they were (still) contagious, then you must go into quarantine yourself for 10 days.

But what exactly does close contact with someone mean? Here are some general rules. Please note that they may differ depending on circumstances.

You are in close contact with someone when you spend more than 15 minutes in total with this person throughout the day, and you were within a distance of 1.5 meters of this person. In such cases, there is a chance that your colleague has infected you.
If you were also in a room with the air conditioning on with this colleague, and the air conditioning did not refresh the air in the room by supplying fresh air from outside, then the chance is even greater that you have become infected.

In such a case you should, therefore, immediately go into quarantine. This will prevent you from spreading the virus without being aware of it. You may be contagious to others before you have any symptoms yourself.
You must stay at home in quarantine for ten days after your last contact with the infected person.
You must stay indoors during quarantine. You may not receive visitors and you must keep your distance from others in your household as much as possible, and especially from vulnerable and elderly members of your household.
You must work from home and you must wash your hands regularly.

It is very important that you take quarantine seriously. You might not have any symptoms as yet, but that may change rapidly tomorrow and in the meantime, you could be infecting others.

Please note: If you start having any symptoms that could be coronavirus-related, call 0800 0800 and have yourself tested immediately. Talk to your supervisor about what to do. For more information or questions you may call 0800-0800.

Do I still have to adhere to the coronavirus measures after I have been vaccinated?

Yes you do. Everyone who has been vaccinated still has to adhere to the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The vaccination protects you so that you do not become seriously ill if you get coronavirus. Scientists do not yet know whether someone who has been vaccinated can still spread the virus. The risk that you will get coronavirus after two inoculations is very small, but not zero. Therefore, both vaccinated people and people who have not been vaccinated must adhere to the coronavirus measures.

Corona patients have been admitted to hospital. Is it safe for me to go to the hospital?

It is safe to go to the hospital. Patients with Covid-19 are admitted to special isolation rooms. Other patients are not at risk of becoming infected. The hospital staff is well trained and also used to working with patients with infectious diseases.

How does someone know they have been cured of the coronavirus?

A person who had the virus is declared to be cured when: They feel well again and have had no health problems for 24 hours and it has been more than 7 days since the symptoms occurred. You can only be declared cured in consultation with a nurse from the Public Health Department. Even after that happens, people may still experience certain symptoms such as fatigue for some time.

Some people do not have any symptoms but still test positive. These people are called asymptomatic carriers. What are the risks of these people infecting others on Bonaire?

People who have no symptoms and yet test positive may develop symptoms during a couple of days after they have had the test. This is the reason they are placed in isolation for five days as a precaution. If they develop symptoms after five days they must remain in isolation for a longer period of time. If they do not develop any symptoms during their five-day-isolation period they may end it as -by then- the risk that they could be contagious is very small.

What do we know about being contagious during the incubation period?

The incubation period is the period of time between the moment a person is infected and the moment they become ill. The novel coronavirus is transmitted by droplets that are spread by activities such as coughing, sneezing, talking and singing
A person is contagious from the moment they start to have symptoms. Research has shown, however, that a person may be contagious for up to as many as two days before they start displaying any symptoms. We do know that the sicker a person feels, the more likely they are to spread the virus.

How long should someone with a cold or with an elevated body temperature stay at home to recover?

Someone with a cold or with an elevated body temperature should stay at home and get tested. If the test result is negative that person may return to their normal routine unless the symptoms increase or change. In which case that person should contact the family doctor or call 0800-0800 for a new test.

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Quarantine and isolation in relation to covid-19

If someone is in quarantine, how long must this person wait before they may go outside again?

People who were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus are advised to go into quarantine for five days. On the fifth day they should have a PCR test done at the Public Health Department test lane.

People who test negative on the fifth day are then allowed to leave quarantine. They must, however, be careful for the remaining five days after that, and they must stay away from people in vulnerable-health groups.
If someone does not want to be tested on the fifth day, they must complete ten days of quarantine.

People who are fully vaccinated and were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not have to go into quarantine. They do, however, have to have a PCR test done after five days.

The five-day rule does not apply to people who live or work in an establishment with vulnerable people. In this situation, extra protection is required.

Why do I have to go into quarantine when I am not feeling ill at all?

You go into quarantine to establish with certainty whether you have been infected or not. You have been in close contact with someone who is infected with the coronavirus. Even though you do not feel ill it can still turn out during quarantine that you have been infected. If you did not go into quarantine you might infect other people. It is important that you take this seriously. Stay at home and avoid physical contact with other people. If you get symptoms, call 0800 0800 right away to arrange to be tested.

People in quarantine are advised to have a PCR test done on the fifth day of their quarantine. At the Public Health Department test lane.
People who test negative on the fifth day are then allowed to leave quarantine. They must, however, be careful for the remaining five days after that, and they must stay away from people in vulnerable-health groups.

If someone does not want to be tested on the fifth day, they must complete ten days of quarantine.

People who are fully vaccinated and were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not have to go into quarantine. They do, however, have to have a PCR test done after five days.

The five-day rule does not apply to people who live or work in an establishment with vulnerable people. In this situation, extra protection is required.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine and isolation both mean that the individual has to separate from other people.
People who were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus are advised to go into quarantine for five days. On the fifth day they should have a PCR test done at the Public Health Department test lane.

People who test negative on the fifth day are then allowed to leave quarantine. They must, however, be careful for the remaining five days after that, and they must stay away from people in vulnerable-health groups.
If someone does not want to be tested on the fifth day, they must complete ten days of quarantine.

People who are fully vaccinated and were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not have to go into quarantine. They do, however, have to have a PCR test done after five days.

The five-day rule does not apply to people who live or work in an establishment with vulnerable people. In this situation, extra protection is required.

I have been in close contact with a person who tested positive. However, I have been vaccinated, so do I still need to go into quarantine?

People who are fully vaccinated and were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not have to go into quarantine. They do, however, have to have a PCR test done after five days.

The five-day rule does not apply to people who live or work in an establishment with vulnerable people. In this situation, extra protection is required.

 

 

When does a person have to be at a central quarantine location, and when may that person be quarantined at home or at a holiday address?

When a traveler arrives on Bonaire without a negative PCR test result, they will have to go into quarantine. Additionally, when a person declares that they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive, they too have to go into quarantine. Such persons may be quarantined at a home address or a holiday accommodation, but only if the Public Health Department approves the specific location.
In the event the location is not approved, the person in question must be quarantined at a central quarantine location. Such persons must pay all costs related to their stay there.
Travelers from Saba and Sint Eustatius do not have to take a PCR test before coming to Bonaire.
All travelers who arrive on Bonaire must have completed the health declaration form no earlier than 72 hours or later than 48 hours before departure.
This also applies to travelers from Saba and Sint Eustatius.
You may find the health declaration at: https://bonairepublichealth.org/en/form

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.

What about quarantine if one person within a family gets infected? Will that person be isolated and will the rest of the family be quarantined? Or will the whole family remain in quarantine in the same house?

The Public Health department evaluates each situation separately. It is most comfortable for an infected person to go into isolation at home. However, this is only possible if the infected person can be sufficiently separated from the rest of the family. Sometimes it is not safe to go into isolation at home, in which case a family will be split up and one or more family members will go into quarantine at a central location.

People who are fully vaccinated and were in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not have to go into quarantine. They do, however, have to have a PCR test done after five days.

What happens with travelers who develop symptoms while they are in quarantine and are tested positive?

Those travelers will receive the same medical care as everyone else. Our health care does not differentiate between people. As long as travelers have symptoms and have not recovered yet, they will remain in isolation. They are not allowed to travel back home until clear of the virus.

Behavior and prevention

Basic rules that need to be followed by everybody in Bonaire

  • * Maintain 1.5 meters distance from people who are not your household members
  • * Wash your hands regularly with soap and water; only use hand disinfectant in case water and soap are not available.
  • * Do not touch your face with your hands.
  • * Do not shake hands with people.
  • * Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • * Use paper tissues and discard them after use.
  • * Stay home (work from home, do not go to school or outside for shopping) if you have to answer one of the following questions with a Yes:
  • * Are you experiencing or have you experienced one or more of the following symptoms in the last 24 hours: nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, elevated temperature, fever, sudden loss of smell and/or taste?
  • * Have you had the coronavirus (identified through a laboratory test) and has this been diagnosed within the last 7 days?
  • * Do you have a household member who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus (identified by a laboratory test), and have you been in contact with this person while they were still experiencing symptoms?
  • * Are you currently in quarantine at home because you have been in direct contact with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus?

How do I use a face mask correctly? And when should I wear a facemask?

Guidelines have been written on how to use a face mask correctly, you will find instructions at: https://www.bonairecrisis.com/communication/ in the document: Advice on Face Masks. But be aware; keeping 1.5 meters distance is still the most important way to prevent the virus from spreading. If you really cannot keep your distance, such as in a bus, car, departure hall, etc. then you must wear a face mask.

Which COVID rules does the Public Health Department impose on companies and other organizations?

These are the COVID-19 rules for companies and organizations as determined by the Public Health Department: Everyone must obey the rule of keeping 1.5 meters distance from each other. In companies and organizations, everyone must wash their hands with soap and water regularly. Everyone must sneeze or cough into their elbow. If someone has symptoms they must go home and stay there. They should then phone the Public Health Call Center at 0800-0800 (Mon to Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sun 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.) to make an appointment for a test. Companies and other organizations must ensure that employees and visitors are able to keep 1.5 meters distance from each other and that they can wash their hands regularly. It is also important to clean the premises properly: buildings have to be cleaned properly every day with extra attention to the surfaces that people frequently touch with their hands, such as door knobs. There is no need to disinfect the building. It is important to air all work areas properly by letting fresh air in. Do not, therefore, keep all windows closed, but ventilate the room well, even if you are using an air conditioner. Some air conditioners only cool the air, they do not refresh it. In this case, it is better to switch off the air conditioner twice a day and let fresh air in for at least 15 minutes. Obviously, these are the general rules. Customizing these rules to each specific situation remains important, for example in the health care sector.

Health

What could generally be the ongoing effects for people who have had coronavirus? What can you do about it?

Most people who get coronavirus may have few or no symptoms. Other people, however, may get serious symptoms from coronavirus. Most people with symptoms recover quickly and completely after having been infected and resume their normal lives straightaway.

But this is not the case for everyone.

If you become seriously ill from coronavirus, this may be related to your health before you became infected. For example, if you already had a lung, heart or metabolic disease before becoming infected.
However, there are also people who were perfectly healthy and still get quite sick from coronavirus.
If you become seriously ill from the infection, it can take a long time to recover. During your recovery you may have to consult with your family doctor or sometimes also with a physiotherapist.
There are also people who become less seriously ill due to coronavirus, but keep experiencing mild symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, pressure on the chest and headaches for a long time afterwards. Sometimes these symptoms can last for weeks or months, and there could be periods of relapse. Such people may then be severely restricted in their daily lives.
The Netherlands Lung Foundation (Longfonds) lists the most common coronavirus symptoms on one of its Dutch internet pages. This page also describes what happens to your body when you are sick, and what the best course of action is for you. In addition, it provides tips on how you can give your body and mind a helping hand. Please refer to: https://coronaviruslongplein.nl/information/what-are-the-symptoms-and-how-do-I-handle-them

How do I stay positive and healthy with so many infections around me?

The measures that have been taken to slow down the spread of the coronavirus here on Bonaire have a severe impact on everyone. Lockdown, isolation and quarantine have major consequences for many people’s daily lives. The situation may even lead to mental difficulties such as loneliness, boredom, fear, insecurity, feelings of powerlessness or frustration.

The following tips may help you to stay mentally healthy.

Keep your day structured
Keep doing the things you normally do as much as possible, but be prepared to make adjustments. Work at home, exercise at home or arrange a virtual coffee date with someone. Maintain a regular daily schedule as much as possible. Get up on time. Don’t stay in bed longer than usual. Don’t walk around in your pajamas all day, but get dressed. Have breakfast and start your day. If you are working from home, start to work at the usual time and do not forget to take breaks.

If you do not have a job, then find a hobby or something fun to do. For example, start making music, learn to cook, go fishing or read a book. Set a goal for yourself, for example to maintain your muscle strength or to play music for half an hour every day.
Make a daily schedule.
Also do this if you have children. Let your children know when it is time to take a shower, eat their breakfasts, have lessons and do their homework. For instance, tell them when to do their chores and when it is time to play or watch TV. Talk to your children about this schedule.

Stay in touch with friends, colleagues and family
Social contacts are important. Don’t just send apps or emails, but also call each other regularly. Talk to each other about what you did today, but also about your feelings and fears. If you are struggling call someone to talk about it. If you or someone else needs help, you can also call your family doctor to talk things through.

Get plenty of exercise
Even though we are allowed to do less, there are plenty of things we still are able to do to keep active.
On Bonaire we are still allowed to go outdoors and it is possible to do things such as hiking, cycling or swimming. But please be careful to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from the people you meet.
If you prefer not to go outdoors, you may find many videos on the Internet for a workout at home.

Do not search for news updates all the time
Only check reliable news sources, such as www.bonairecrisis.com and the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and do not do this more than once or twice a day.
The more you Google or look at Facebook, the more likely it will be that you will find incorrect information on untrustworthy pages. So stick to one or two news sources.

Make sure you get plenty of sunlight
Go outdoors for a while every day.
A little sunlight is good for you. On Bonaire it is good to do this early in the day, when it is not so hot yet and the sun is not so bright.
Even if you are housebound, regularly step into your garden and enjoy being outside.

Help others
If you do not belong to one of the risk groups and you are healthy, reach out to others. Deliver some groceries and send a message to family or acquaintances who may need it. Ask your children to draw a picture for them and put it in their mailbox and / or telephone people who are alone. Let others know they are not facing this by themselves.

Get plenty of sleep
You may not be sleeping as well because you are worried. You may find it difficult to fall asleep or you may wake up often during the night. Go to bed on time and do some relaxation or breathing exercises. There are plenty of these exercises on the Internet. Avoid looking at screens just before going to sleep (TV, computer or telephone).

Stay positive and keep hope
Get closure on your day by writing things down.
Write down what you are grateful for or write about the things that are going well.
You can also make plans with neighbors, friends or family. Discuss with them what you plan to undertake together as soon as it is possible again, so that you have something to look forward to together.

I am pregnant, should I be especially concerned if i get infected?

No. The course of the infection with the virus is the same in pregnant women as in non-pregnant women. Pregnant women infected with the virus are not at greater risk of a miscarriage. There is also not a greater chance of the baby having any birth defects. This is what scientists know so far.

What is the advice for people with other health problems (asthma, COPD- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes etc.)?

For these people the rules for the prevention of corona are extra important! Keep your distance. Wash your hands regularly. Stay far away from people who are ill or people with respiratory complaints. For more information see: https://www.bonairecrisis.com/en/health-problems-do-the-corona-check/
If you have a chronic cough, sign up for a test should this symptom get worse or change. You should also do this if you develop other symptoms, such as fever, loss of smell and taste, or a sore throat. Please make it a habit to cough into your elbow or a tissue. This is important because you can spread the virus especially when you cough.

If you have a weak immune system, how can you strengthen it to reduce the risk of infection?

It is important to be in good shape. There are no drugs that will increase your resistance. Live healthy. Eat healthy. Get enough sleep. Get enough exercise.

The elderly and people with chronic illnesses are advised to stay at home.

The hospital on Bonaire has a lot of attention and time for corona cases. What happens if the hospital can no longer admit other patients as a result of that?

The hospital devotes its full attention and time to all its patients, whether they have corona or not. Regular medical care is certainly not at risk at the moment. The hospital can handle a large amount of corona-related admissions while the care of other patients continues as much as posible. If we can no longer admit other patients because we have a lot of corona patients in our hospital, we have agreements with the other islands and countries in our vicinity. In addition, we strive to enforce measures within society in order to reduce the number of infections, i.e. the number of sick people.

What is the best way to air my work area? I am concerned that the air conditioner could spread the virus.

It is important to air all work areas properly by letting fresh air in. Do not, therefore, keep all windows closed, but ventilate the room well, even if you are using an air conditioner. Some air conditioners only cool the air, they do not refresh it. In this case, it is better to switch off the air conditioner twice a day and let fresh air in for at least 15 minutes.

Why have face masks become mandatory in a number of situations, when it was often stated before that face masks were not necessary?

Keeping 1.5 meters distance from each other offers better protection against the virus than using face masks. That is why we indicated in the past that the use of masks is not necessary. In practice, it appears that people are actually less careful about keeping their distance when they are wearing face masks. This is exactly what we do not want to have happen. There are a few circumstances, however, when it is impossible to keep a 1.5 meter distance such as: on public transport, on the bus and at work for people with contact professions (physiotherapists, hairdressers etc.). In situations such as these it is mandatory to wear masks and it is important to strictly follow the hygiene rules. This prevents people from infecting each other in such situations.