Statia introduces protocol on admission for entry

The Public Entity of St. Eustatius, in close collaboration and consultation with the Health Insurance Office (ZVK) and its own Public Health Department (GGD), has introduced a protocol outlining the procedure and rules, under which persons can be granted permission to enter the island.

This protocol is in effect for the period of the current Emergency Ordinance that ends on April 30th. “The situation continues to change daily and St. Eustatius is taking all the necessary precautions to contain this virus in light of the relatively small scale and limited medical capacity on the island”.

The general principles of this protocol takes into account the 4th Emergency Ordinance that is in effect until April 30th. Exemptions are possible however each situation will be handled on a case per case basis by Government Commissioner. Only persons with a valid residency permit, who are registered in the Civil Registry (Census Office) of St. Eustatius and are holders of a valid ID card will be allowed entry. Persons identified as “suspect” COVID patients will not be granted permission to enter St. Eustatius.

Permission and non-permission for specific groups of persons are clearly identified in the protocol. Permission will be granted for essential workers and returning patients and accompany on strict guidelines. Entry for essential workers will be granted by Government Commissioner, on a case per case basis. This can imply requirements for the travel route to minimize the chance of infection.

The advice of the Public Health Department is required before permission is granted for the return of ZVK patients and accompany to St. Eustatius. Patients who will require hospital treatment upon their return and patients who will be a burden on the available medical capacity while being in quarantine, will not be granted permission to return. Patients who will not be a burden on the available medical capacity while being in quarantine will be allowed to return. The accompany will also be allowed to return with the patient and will also be placed in quarantine.

Persons who fall in other categories will not be granted entry. On a case by case basis the Government Commissioner can make an exemption based on humanitarian reasons. “The protocol where outlines that, during the current situation, the maximum of amount of persons in quarantine and or isolation on St. Eustatius at the same time should not exceed 15. All incoming persons will be placed in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. It is possible to shorten the quarantine period provided there is adequate proof of quarantine prior arrival in St. Eustatius”, says Government Commissioner, Marnix van Rij.

The Public Entity of St. Eustatius is further sharpening travel and quarantine conditions for persons allowed to enter St. Eustatius. The number of passengers in the aircraft must allow social distancing during the flight. All passengers most put on a mask before boarding the aircraft. All persons onboard the aircraft (pilot and passengers) must wear a mask. Charter airlines must supply their pilots with masks. Once the aircraft has landed at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport of St. Eustatius, arriving passengers are required to follow the orders of the Public Health Department. The Public Health Department will transport these persons to the quarantine location. Masks (FFp1 quality) may not be removed until after the person has arrived at their quarantine location assigned by the Public Health Department. “Stakeholders have agreed to these extra precautionary measures, taken in an attempt to ensure there is no new import of the COVID virus to St. Eustatius. A Hospitainer will to arrive here next week. We will then make all the necessary arrangements to have this set up and operational within the soonest time possible. Until then no exceptions can be made”, Marnix van Rij.