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: May 19th, 2022

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 traveltobonaire@bonairegov.com

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

Q&A medical

Tests and testing policy

My self-test result is positive. What now?

Take another test as soon as possible at the Public Health Department!

1) Call the toll-free number 0800-0800 for a test appointment. This number is available from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m.to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m..

2) Go into isolation and inform your household members and close contacts that you probably have COVID-19 and that they must go into quarantine.

Why?

1) The result of the self-test may be positive even though you are not infected. A PCR test is more reliable than a self-test. If you go for another test at the Public Health Department, you could prevent yourself from going into isolation for no reason. Additionally you could prevent your household members and close contacts from going into quarantine for no reason.

2) You will not receive a recovery certificate based on a positive self-test result alone and you need proof of recovery to be able to travel after a COVID-19 infection.

For more information about isolation and quarantine, please refer to: www.bonairecrisis.com/covid-19-information

When should I not use a self-test?

If you have delicate health or are seriously ill;
If you work with people who have delicate health or who are seriously ill;
If you have contact with people who have delicate health or who are seriously ill;
To determine whether you may leave quarantine. You may only leave quarantine after a PCR test at the Public Health Department. You should take the PCR test on the 5th day after your last contact with an infected person.

In such cases make a test appointment at the Public Health Department. Call 0800 0800 for an appointment.

What is the difference between a self-test and a PCR test?

A PCR test is more reliable than a self-test.
A PCR test is administered by an expert. Such an expert knows exactly how to remove mucus from the nose and throat for the test.
It is checked in a laboratory whether the COVID-19 virus is present in the mucus. A PCR test is more sensitive for detecting COVID-19 virus particles than a self-test. It can even detect the virus when a person has (almost) no symptoms yet.
If your self-test is positive, go into isolation at home. Call 0800 0800 and make an appointment for a PCR test to make sure you really have coronavirus.

What should my household members and close contacts do if my self-test result is positive?

They must be quarantined at home if:

  • they have not had a booster shot or
  • they have not had COVID-19 in the past 8 weeks.

They have to wait for the result of your PCR test at home. If the result of your PCR test is positive, they must remain in quarantine. They must take a PCR test on day 5.

They do not have to be quarantined if:

  • they have had COVID-19 in the past 8 weeks or
  • they have had their booster shot more than 7 days ago or
  • they are younger than 18 years of age.

Where on Bonaire can tourists and residents get tested for coronavirus?

If you need a test result, you may obtain one from a number of commercial parties on Bonaire:

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

I am a household member or a close contact of an infected person. When should I undergo a test?

You may do this on the fifth day after your last contact with the infected person.

The day you last had contact is day 0. Add five days to that.

If, for example, your last contact with the infected person was on Wednesday you should undergo a test on Monday.

Please make an appointment for this test by calling 0800-0800.

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.

I have been vaccinated and I have coronavirus symptoms. Do I need to be tested?

Even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still catch COVID-19.

Therefore, get tested as soon as possible if you have one or more of these symptoms:
• Common Cold
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
• Elevated temperature
• Fever
• Sudden loss of smell or taste
• Headache
• Fatigue

Stay at home and call the Public Health Department at the toll free number 0800-0800. This number can be reached from Monday to Saturday from 8 AM – 8 PM and on Sundays from 8 AM – 4 PM.

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.

Questions about the risk of infection

I have been vaccinated. Can I still get COVID-19?

Yes you can. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still become infected with the coronavirus. However, usually your symptoms will be mild. The risk that you will require hospitalization is 22 times smaller compared to a person who has not been vaccinated. If you have one or more of these symptoms

  • Cold
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Elevated temperature
  • Fever
  • Sudden loss of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Please have yourself tested as soon as possible. Stay at home and call the Public Health Department on the free number 0800-0800. This number can be reached from Monday to Saturday from 8 AM – 8 PM and on Sundays from 8 AM – 4 PM.

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 5 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.

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.

Quarantine and isolation in relation to COVID-19

How long does isolation last?

If you had symptoms, then your first day of illness counts as day 0. Add five days to that. If you were symptom-free for 24 hours prior to this fifth day you may leave isolation. However, if you still have symptoms on the fifth day, you will have to wait until you have been symptom- free for 24 hours. Only then may you leave isolation.

For example: you experienced COVID-19 symptoms on Monday. That is day 0. Five days later is Saturday. If you have been symptom-free for 24 hours prior to that Saturday, you may leave isolation on the Saturday.

If you did not experience any symptoms, you must start counting from the day you were tested. This is day 0. Add five days to that and that will be the day you may leave isolation.

For example: you were tested on Monday. This is day 0. Five days later it is Saturday. On this Saturday you may you leave isolation.

I was in close contact with a person who tested positive. I have been vaccinated; do I have to go into quarantine?

Yes you do. If you are fully vaccinated and have had close contact with an infected person, you must go into quarantine!

There is a risk that you yourself have been infected with the coronavirus and could pass the virus on to others.

Quarantine lasts 10 days. On the fifth day of quarantine you may undergo a PCR test at the Public Health Department. If you test negative, you may leave quarantine, but please stay away from people in vulnerable-health groups.

Exception:

You do not have to go into quarantine if you do not have any symptoms and:

  • you had COVID-19 less than eight weeks ago, or
  • you had your booster shot more than one week ago or
  • you are younger than 18 years of age.

If you do get coronavirus symptoms, please have yourself tested at the Public Health Department.

Behavior and prevention

Is it mandatory to wear a face mask on Bonaire?

No, on Bonaire wearing a face mask is not mandatory.

One of my employees has symptoms. What steps should I take as the employer?

If an employee within your organization or company has symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, send them home immediately! Insist that the employee goes to be tested for COVID-19 at the Public Health Department.
Enable your employee to wait for the test result at home. Do not allow the employee to come to work until the result is known. Let them work from home if possible as this prevents the employee from infecting others.
If an employee has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, give them the opportunity to work from home until they are allowed out of quarantine. All people who have had close contact with an infected person must undergo a test on the fifth day after contact.
If it is not possible for the employee to work from home and the Public Health Department advised them to stay at home, the employer is entitled to claim sickness benefit. As customary, the employer may report his employee to be on sick leave in the SZW Social & Health Insurance portal: MijnCN.nl.

What is a healthy and safe work environment?

It is very important to properly ventilate areas where people gather. Therefore, open windows and/or doors a few times a day, for at least 15 minutes.

Employees should be able to wash their hands regularly with soap and water and then dry them with paper towels.

Buildings should be properly cleaned on a daily basis with extra attention to places where many people place their hands, such as doorknobs. It is not necessary to disinfect the whole building.

Does anyone in the workplace have symptoms? Send him or her home with an urgent request to be tested. Give that colleague the opportunity to go into isolation or quarantine.

Health

What is Long COVID? What are the symptoms of Long COVID?

Some people have symptoms for a prolonged period of time after they were infected with COVID. This is called “Long COVID” (“Long-term COVID”). These symptoms may persist for a few weeks to a few months after infection.

Symptoms
People with Long COVID may experience symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle aches, headache, heart palpitations, persistent elevated temperature and a prolonged loss of smell. They may also suffer from depression or from memory problems.

These memory problems are also called “brain fog”. Some symptoms persist for a long time, but may become less severe over time.

People who are more likely to get Long COVID
It is not known why some people continue to have symptoms for a prolonged time after they were infected with the coronavirus. There seems to be some correlation between Long COVID and higher ages and the number of symptoms in the first phase of infection. Long COVID is more common in: people who have been hospitalized for COVID, people with asthma or people who are very overweight in relation to their height.

In practice, however, it appears that even people who have not been hospitalized may continue to have symptoms for an extended time. It seems that Long COVID is more common in women. The lungs of people who have been hospitalized with a serious infection may not function at a full 100% long after they were discharged.

One out of five
According to a first estimate, up to one in five people still have symptoms four or five weeks after testing positive. That number continues to decline 12 weeks or more after infection. An optimal treatment for Long COVID has not yet been found, which is why research into Long COVID is being carried out all over the world.

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.