Despite the fact that no coronavirus cases has yet been found on Bonaire, I would like to let you know that on the advice of the EBT and after consultation with the Executive Council and the Island Council, analogous to the decision in Curaçao and Aruba, I, as Governor, submitted a request to the Minister of I&W of The Netherlands to close the airspace for aircraft from Europe, specifically the Netherlands, with effect from Saturday March 14th until March 31st, 2020. I expect the Minister to respond quickly. I have also decided that all ships near Bonaire must return to their home ports. It has been internationally decided that the companies will no longer sail for 30 days.

In addition to the EBT, I also took RIVM’s advice into account in my decision-making. This advisory report states that because of the limited capacity of both clinical and preventive services, the islands are vulnerable to serious consequences from this epidemic. When the airspace is closed, it concerns passenger transport from Europe via the Netherlands. A similar policy would be considered for other destinations where the local transmission of the virus is currently taking place on a more extensive scale.The decision was made because it is my first priority to protect the public health on Bonaire. I am well aware that this is a major measure. In the coming period as EBT, we will continuously monitor the conditions on Bonaire and make decisions that we consider necessary for the population.