Saba has placed St. Eustatius back in the low-risk category, while Bonaire returned to its medium-risk category status. Island Governor Jonathan Johnson announced this positive development in an audio address on Friday, November 6.
According to the updated risk categorization, St. Eustatius, Anguilla and St. Kitts & Nevis are low risk areas from where no quarantining or testing is necessary upon arrival on Saba. Bonaire and Canada are qualified as medium risk, meaning that quarantining is necessary upon arrival, but no testing is needed.
Island Governor Johnson explained what this means for Saba residents returning from Bonaire and St. Eustatius. “Travel to and from St. Eustatius is possible without quarantine. Bonaire’s medium-risk status allows persons to travel to Bonaire for medical purposes and to follow the strict ZVK protocol in order not to have to quarantine when returning to the island. Other travelers from Bonaire still have to quarantine.”
Quarantining and testing before and after arrival remain in place for the high-risk areas: Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten, the Dominican Republic, Europe, South America, Central America and North America (except Canada). “St. Maarten remains at high-risk level, just as the Netherlands and the United States,” said Johnson.
The good news is that the mandatory quarantine time will go down from 14 to 10 days. Quarantine has proved to be a highly effective measure during this pandemic, explained Johnson. “We all know that it is beneficial and necessary to prevent the introduction and further spread of COVID-19.”
But there is also a downside to long quarantining. “It can take a toll on a person and negatively affect income, school results and physical and mental health. Recent evidence shows that more than 99 percent of infected people show symptoms 10 days after exposure. And by continuing to test people from high-risk areas at the end of quarantine, we can reduce the risk even further.”
Taking these factors into consideration, Saba authorities decided to, effective immediately, reduce the quarantine from 14 to 10 days. Non-essential travelers can come to Saba per November 1, but the measure that all incoming persons must first seek approval before coming to the island remains in place. A request for entry can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Island Governor reminded the public on the restrictions at the Juancho Yrausquin Airport. “There is no entry unless you are a passenger, an employee or conducting business. Persons wishing to visit to Winair office, pick up packages or conduct any other business can do so after receiving permission from the security officer on duty.”
Also, it is mandatory to wear a facemask inside the airport building. Persons have to bring their own facemask. Persons saying farewell to passengers, or welcoming arriving passengers must remain outside the building.
Johnson assured the people that a solution is being sought for the fact that many Sabans need to visit the notary in St. Maarten for official business. People with an urgent situation that requires the immediate services of a notary, are asked to send an email to email@example.com.