KRALENDIJK – The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) regrets that traveling to Bonaire is currently being made very difficult due to the new entry measures imposed by the Kingdom Government.
In addition to the required PCR test, it is mandatory for a number of countries, including the United States, Canada and from February 10 also from the Netherlands, to also be able to hand over an antigen test.
While BONHATA states that they can understand the measures to a certain point, they also wonder if the imposed measures really do make traveling safer. “Is this indeed the case, or are we as an island deliberately misled?”, asks BONHATA in a press statement put out on Saturday.
According to BONHATA, the rule now being imposed by the Netherlands, means what they describe as ‘the final blow’ to our island. “The entrepreneurs in the tourism industry are fed up with having to suffer so many losses, while our borders are open, but due to the regulations, we can hardly receive tourists”, writes BONHATA.
BONHATA also points out that while Bonaire pertains to the Dutch territory as a special municipality, his does not mean that the situation on Bonaire is comparable in any way to the situation in the Netherlands.
“Corona laws and regulations should therefore not be the same. On Bonaire, we are working hard to facilitate antigen testing at Bonaire Flamingo Airport, so that direct flights can also come to Bonaire. However, this is prevented by the oppressive Dutch legislation”, according to BONHATA.
BONHATA points out that for many travelers, especially American and Canadian travelers, the requirement to take an antigen test 4 hours before departure to Bonaire is simply not feasible.
“By offering the possibility to undergo rapid testing upon arrival at our airport, upon presentation of a negative PCR test, this should make traveling to Bonaire (also without transfer to Curaçao or Aruba) easier”, according to the Association.
BONHATA has now drafted a letter, endorsed by the Central Dialogue (CD) on the island, requesting Minister Hugo de Jonge of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) to implement a policy change for the BES islands or Bonaire.
“This could provide the Bonairean economy with the necessary financial impulse to somewhat compensate for the revenue losses suffered in 2020 and prevent 2021 from not being such a devastating year”, according to BONHATA.