The Bottom, Saba- From Monday, Agust 16, Saba is implementing new measures for travelers from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. Because of the increased number of COVID-19 cases in these Dutch Caribbean countries, all passengers from these islands will need to submit a negative PCR test taken maximum 72 hours prior to arrival on Saba, whether they are vaccinated or not.
Vaccinated persons traveling from these islands will not be required to quarantine. However, additional measures will be in place and they will have to undergo a test on day 5 after arrival. During these 5 days, these persons are encouraged to work from home when possible, to avoid crowded areas and to wear a mask in public. Vaccinated youth will need to stay home from school. Also they cannot take part in after- school activities and other organized events for 5 days and they must test on day 5.
All non-vaccinated persons must quarantine unless coming from a low-risk country. Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons traveling from regular very high-risk countries must go into quarantine for 5 days with pre-travel and on-island testing.
The decision to implement a compulsory PCR test and other measures for Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten was taken by Saba’s Outbreak Management Team (OMT) during an extra meeting on Friday, August 12. During that meeting, the OMT discussed the current COVID-19 situation in St. Maarten and other islands in the region.
Special attention was given to the situation in the Dutch Caribbean countries, in particular St. Maarten, which is Saba’s main hub. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in St. Maarten. The Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM has called the large increase in St. Maarten “worrisome.”
The St. Maarten Medical Center is at its capacity mainly due to the delta variant and the low vaccination rate on this island. Considering the situation in the Dutch Caribbean countries, the OMT decided to create a special very high risk list with extra measures for Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
“Saba uniquely has a high vaccination rate of over 90 percent of the adult population and we acknowledge that the Dutch Caribbean countries have high COVID-19 numbers. We also realize our dependency on vital activities such as connectivity and health care services,” stated Island Governor Jonathan Johnson.