Statia to close for visitors, non-essential travel
Per Monday, March 16th, Statia will be closed for visitors and non-essential travel. An exception will be made for medical specialists and for island residents who want to return home.
However, returning residents will be subject to some conditions. All incoming residents will need to go into self-quarantine for 14 days when they are traveling back from countries or islands originating outside of the six Dutch Caribbean islands.
If residents are returning from Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire or Saba, and if they have not traveled to other countries or islands within the past 14 days, self- quarantine will not be needed. These persons will have to limit social interactions and monitor for symptoms closely. This is subject to change as the situation develops. Residents on Statia are asked not to travel unless it’s absolutely necessary. This is in line with the advice of international health organizations.
Cargo, ferries continue
Cruise boats can not come to Statia for the rest of the high season. Residents are reminded that the ferries’ schedules may change due to the decrease in demand. Cargo boats will remain welcome.
Chronically and critically ill patients will be contacted by medical personnel with instructions for the upcoming weeks. The hospitality sector and other parts of the business community will also be contacted to discuss the measures which will be implemented and the effects they may cause.
Schools remain open
Schools will remain open for now. “We see that other countries are closing their schools. Most of these countries have serious outbreaks, so they are minimizing social contacts wherever possible. That is not the case on Statia. The decision is that we will continue our normal life as much as possible, with the inclusion of the prevention measures. The schools will stay open for now. This might change if/when there is a (suspected) case and if so, the public will be updated accordingly.
Visitors who are already are on the island are reminded that they can get stranded on the island because of travel restrictions generally being applied around the globe, and as such are advised to make additional travel plans.
People should wash their hands regularly, sneeze or cough in their elbow, don’t touch their face, avoid handshakes and limit cash going from hand to hand. People are asked to pay with their bank cards or to put cash on the countertop whenever possible. Also, clean surfaces and objects that are touched often more regularly.
These measures are to help prevent the introduction of COVID 19 on Statia. We want to prevent a complete lock-down and to also protect the vulnerable members of our community, we ask you to follow our instructions to help us achieve this. This means don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary. Being an isolated island also presents the opportunity to implement measures that mitigate the risk of COVID-19 entering Statia. Our health is our priority.
The community is urged to stay informed, but to do so only from reliable sources. The government will continue to provide updates on a regular basis. We will inform you of any necessary changes or additional measures if/when they are decided on. The situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to develop rapidly, which means that each day the situation changes and our measures may have to change also.