DH | New COVID-19 ordinance for Saba amidst borders reopening in region

This travel allowance will be referred to as the “BES bubble”

SABA–The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) advised Governor Jonathan Johnson on Thursday, June 11, that Saba could move to alert level one. This change means that there is no longer a limitation on gatherings and events, and contact sports are now fully allowed.

As the Caribbean Netherlands islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are currently free of the coronavirus COVID-19, the public entities have collectively decided to allow specific essential travel between the three islands without the requirement of the mandatory 14-day quarantine, as long as Bonaire, Saba and Statia remain closed to international flights.

This travel allowance will be referred to as the “BES bubble”. The fact that the COVID-19 situation is fluid means that Saba can change its conditions of the BES bubble as the sister islands begin opening up their borders.

The public entity Saba said it is aware that there are many residents of Saba in different countries who want to return to the island, as well as students wishing to come home for the summer vacation.

“Presently we are monitoring the situation in the region and the world. As borders remain closed, connectivity to the island is a challenge, and as always, the number one priority will continue to be safety and mitigating risks. Now more than ever, we call for patience, understanding and responsibility from our Sabans, the community and residents abroad,” the public entity said in a statement.

Relaxing of the COVID-19 measures does not mean that the risks of reintroduction of the virus in Saba do not exist. Therefore, Saba’s borders will remain closed to non-essential travel in order to continue to contain the possible reintroduction or spread of COVID-19 on the island.

While the borders are closed, there are exceptions. Persons who will receive permission to enter Saba fall within two groups: residents for repatriation or medical referrals, and essential persons, such as doctors, specialists, police officers and project experts.

As Saba lacks some specific resources to meet the demands of some health concerns and projects, particular persons or groups must be allowed to come to the island, while adhering to specific conditions.

The situation pertaining to the opening of borders, quarantine and traveling continues to be monitored. As things develop, decisions will be made to continue to ensure the safety of Saba’s community, while also ensuring that essential needs are met. As other islands and destinations begin to reopen, the measures will continue to be assessed and adjusted where needed.

Bron; Daily Herald

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