Speech Island Governor Edison E. Rijna 01-05-2020
Today on Labor Day I have the honor once again to address the people of Bonaire. Labor Day is a day on which we consider everyone who works and thus contributes daily to our economy and the development of our island.
Today I would like to pay extra attention and express my thanks to the people who work in various sectors and who have made - and still are - making great efforts to protect our people against the corona pandemic. Fathers and mothers who have had to make serious adjustments in their family life. Sometimes sacrificed many hours for days and could not be with their family. Not only employees in the medical sector, but also civil servants and employees in other sectors. I cannot list them all, but each one of you knows how hard you have worked, and still work for our community in this crisis. I would like to thank you from my heart and on behalf of the whole people of Bonaire ... many thanks.
Then the COVID-19 numbers. To date, 249 people have been tested, and there is not a single active case of the coronavirus on our island. Today the first group of returnees in central quarantine could go home. I want to thank them for their cooperation and patience.
On Tuesday May 5 and Thursday May 7 there will again be the opportunity to test via the Covid Drive Thru. A call is made to all who think they have coronavirus-related symptoms to make an appointment.
On April 29, the judge ruled on the summary proceedings that were instituted regarding the repatriation of residents. The judge declares the claimants inadmissible in their claims. The possibility of having the groups succeed one another quickly is also being examined, as the judge pointed out in his verdict. On the advice of the repatriation team, today a group of 20 residents of Bonaire from Colombia arrived and 4 from Curaçao. All 24 are in central quarantine.
Another point I would like to dwell on is that yesterday afternoon the KPCN, and the Department of Surveillance and Enforcement, had to close the road to and from Rincon because too many people were on this road. An action that may not appeal to everyone, but was needed and in place. Dear everyone…. I know that we wanted to celebrate this day, but remember that our own safety comes first.
Today I can announce that as of May 6 some emergency measures can be relaxed. This concerns, among other things, the possibility of sports and the schools that will open again on 11 May, but with some restrictions. My legal team is making the necessary preparations to amend the Emergency Regulation as part of the relaxation of measures.
Curvin George will detail the rules that will be relaxed. It is important that we remain realistic, the virus is already on Bonaire and we have managed to limit the number of infected people to just two. But keep in mind that we cannot exclude the possibility that as soon as we relax the emergency measures step by step, the virus can suddenly reappear on Bonaire. Should this happen, each of us should be aware that the emergency measures may be tightened again to prevent the virus from spreading.
Therefore, as Lieutenant Governor, I would like to appeal once again to every citizen of our island to continue to adhere to the measures in force until next Monday, as well as to adhere to the amended rules that will take effect on Monday. In this way, each of us contributes individually to gradually return to the life we are used to, albeit with certain adjustments. Let's set a good example. Keep taking care of yourself, your family and our beloved island.
Together against corona.