Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – Raymond Knops, State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Affairs, will travel to St. Eustatius upcoming Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 to meet with the elected Island Council members.
Knops will also visit a number of projects on the island such as the renovation of Smoke Alley hairpin, the Road to Jeems, the STUCO water tank, the construction of the new airport, the hospitainer and the Cherry Tree road project. Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Entity of St. Eustatius has implemented a specific COVID-19 protocol before and during the visit.
Mr. Knops will meet the five elected Island Council members on Tuesday afternoon. These are Rechelline Leerdam, Reuben Merkman, Clyde van Putten, Adelka Spanner and Koos Sneek. After these meetings the visits to various projects take place. Knops and his delegation will leave the island on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 in the morning to continue their trip to Saba.
The protocol states that a recent COVID-PCR test was conducted within 72 hours before the visit to Statia and that the result of that test is negative. Delegation members will be tested before leaving the Netherlands and will also be tested during their visit on Curaçao on Monday, prior to their visit to Statia. Members who have been positively tested will not be allowed to enter Statia. Upon arrival of the delegation, consisting of 5 members, there will be a briefing at the airport about the procedures to be followed. During their visit, the delegation will stay in quarantine at their quarantine location when there are no meetings planned, and in accordance with the quarantine rules that apply on Statia. These are stated in the 16th Emergency Ordinance that was published earlier this week. All meals consumed by the delegation must take place at their quarantine location. Transport of the delegation takes place in separate designated vehicles, in which no other residents of Statia are present. This means that the delegation members drive themselves. A mouth mask must be worn at all times when they are outside the quarantine location. If a member has any symptoms, including minor symptoms during the visit that could indicate COVID-19, the member is not allowed to leave the quarantine location and a medical examination and a COVID test will take place. The measures taken are in alignment with recent visits of other vital workers.
During the visits to the projects the members of the visiting delegation and all other attendees must wear a mouth mask and ensure regular hand washing and/or the use of hand sanitizers. The Public Entity of St. Eustatius will maintain the local contacts limited by not having too many local personnel involved in this visit. An appropriate distance at all times is required, where possible 1.5 meter. Local organizations that will meet the delegation members will be informed in advance about the roles of conduct to be applied.