Governor Rijna: ‘Border Closing was Traumatic for Bonaire’

Kralendijk- Island Governor Edison Rijna says that the decision to fully close Bonaire’s airspace was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make.

Rijna made his comments during a Christmas speech broadcast on Saturday. The Governor said that at the time of the decision to close the borders, he realized this would place many residents -depending on for instance tourism- in a very difficult situation.

The Governor said in his speech he was also aware at the time many companies on the island might not survive the measure. “Still, I did not doubt, as I realized that this was the right thing to do to protect our population”.


Rijna said that Bonaire was never left alone during the crisis, as it received consistent and generous support out from the Netherlands, thanks to its status as ‘Special Municipality’ within the Dutch Kingdom.

According to Rijna, despite the generous financial support, there were still many residents who faced a very tough time. “All those people working in the tourism industry, the taxi drivers, the business owners”, said Rijna, who also said he was glad that once the border closures were lifted or softened, Tourism turned out to recover relatively quick.


Rijna mentioned as something positive the fact that he had seen much solidarity on the island, every since the Covid-19 crisis hit. “I would really like to give a lot of a people a ‘brasa’ as a sign of encouragement, but that is exactly the thing I cannot do right now”.

Rijna said the island needed to stay vigilant. “We need to continue keeping our guard up. For the time to come we are going to request from all visitors that they show either proof of vaccination with the new anti-Covid vaccines or proof of a negative PCR-test. We simply cannot take the risk that Covid would spread on our relatively small island. It has proven a dangerous disease”, said Rijna.

Also read:

Deel dit artikel