ORANJESTAD- The Public Entity St. Eustatius has further eased the COVID-19 measures as of Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 now that the number of positive cases is slowly decreasing. A maximum of 50 persons (instead of now 25) is allowed to be inside restaurants and bars, or 50 percent of the full capacity. Dancing in bars is now allowed, but only a maximum of 50 persons or 50% of the full capacity. Attendees must show a negative self-test prior to attending the event. Supermarkets and non-essential businesses no longer need to adhere to a maximum number of customers.
Group gatherings are allowed effective Tuesday, February 15th, 2022. However, a maximum of 50 persons is allowed or 50% of the capacity of the venue (instead of 25 persons). For indoor and outdoor sport activities a maximum gathering of 50 persons is also applicable. While easing the measures, the Government Commissioner Alida Francis still advises Statian residents to strictly respect the hygiene guidelines. “The responsibility to keep St. Eustatius safe lies with each and every resident.”
The burden on the economy is the main reason that the local government further eases the COVID-19 measures, while remaining cautious and taking steps to protect the island. Government Commissioner Alida Francis states: “We can allow ourselves this next step because the situation is stable and under control. The number of positive cases is gradually stabilising and the number of persons needing hospital care remains relatively low. In addition, the number of cases among the most vulnerable groups did not increase. But we also need to be realistic: keeping the island COVID free is impossible. That is why each resident needs to take personal responsibility.”
Non-essential businesses such as nail salons, barbershops and hair salons must maintain a strict protocol and adhere to hygiene measures by having sufficient sanitizing products available, and by always wearing face masks and gloves.
All countries are still considered as high-risk. The requirement of a negative PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Statia remains in effect. The mandatory antigen test for vaccinated persons is no longer applicable since February 1st, 2022. All persons entering Statia from a high-risk country still must stay in quarantine (non-vaccinated persons, 7 days) or monitoring (vaccinated persons, 5 days). A mandatory antigen test at the end of the quarantine period (on the 7th day) or monitoring period (on the 5th day) is applicable.
Testing and vaccination
The Public Health Department will keep the intensity of testing and vaccination high. Vaccination will remain possible twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays. Testing is possible daily. The easing of the measures was decided upon after careful deliberation with all stakeholders: the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), the Public Health Department, the Crisis Team, the Island Council, the St. Eustatius Business Association, the tourism & hospitality sector, school principals/management and church leaders.