Central accommodation for residents in case of repatriation
The outbreak of coronavirus has resulted in a considerable number of residents stranded abroad. After having taken stock of the residents who want to return to Bonaire, a lot of hard work has been done on a repatriation road map. The residents must be able to return in a responsible and safe manner. That is why the EBT set up a taskforce to elaborate the preparations.
Coronavirus is acting unpredictably, which is why it is important to be able to switch flexibly during the preparations. The medical knowledge about coronavirus develops every day. There is close contact with the RIVM and with other medical specialists. The RIVM has confirmed that the virus is already transmissible one to two days before there are any symptoms. It is then already present in the nose and throat without causing symptoms. This new insight, and potential subsequent insights, will be applied in the decision-making process regarding repatriation.
The decision so far is that the first repatriation will be carried out on April 14th for a group of people in vital professions. They are only repatriated if they dispose of a health certificate. They will then be placed in mandatory quarantine at a central location. The returnees are provided clarity about the conditions, the degree of security, enforcement and sanctions. Prior to the repatriation the conditions must be confirmed by signature. A so-called “buddy” system is used to support the returnees in the best way possible. These buddies comply with a strict protocol regarding social distancing and hygiene. The first repatriation flight is evaluated before the next batch of returnees follows.
The taskforce and the EBT are doing everything in their power to ensure that the return of residents takes place in a safe and responsible manner. The unrest that exists about this repatriation has been heard, but the request is to leave the work to the expertise of the right people. Supervision and enforcement take place under the authority of the security chain. The physicians and the Public Health department have been working on the necessary preparations for a long time. At administrative level, advice from various experts is considered and included in the decision-making.
Island Governor Edison Rijna:
“I understand the many questions, but I also want to ask you keep the peace and to show unity. After all, it regards a group of residents, fellow inhabitants of the island, from all layers of society. They are entitled to return. You can rest assured that every decision in his regard will be made in a well-considered manner and that continuous will be made to start the repatriation in an efficient and responsible manner”.