WILLEMSTAD – The Curaçao government is aware that the negative travel advice that the Dutch government has given for Curaçao has a significant impact on our tourism sector. In fact, the tourism sector employs thousands of people. One part is directly active in hotels and apartments, while the other part is indirectly involved in various tourism products and services offered to the sector and visitors to our country.
Therefore, the government fully understands the reactions to the decision of the Netherlands. However, as a country and as a community, we need to focus our energies on recovery right now and join forces to change this decision.
To change the decision of the Netherlands and go back to code yellow as short-term travel advice, the following is necessary:
- Firstly, the number of COVID-19 infections must be reduced. Specifically, this involves reducing the number of new positive cases per day. One of the main reasons that led to the decision of the Netherlands was the fact that the daily number of positive cases has increased significantly in the past two weeks.
- Along with this, we must focus on improving the follow-up of the hygiene and other measures that have been put in place with the aim of reducing the number of infections. In addition to the number of current infections, the Netherlands is also looking at what measures the country is taking to combat the increase in infections and how the community reacts to this.
- Similar to other countries and islands in the region (e.g., Bonaire), we must demonstrate that we can achieve the desired results in the fight against COVID-19. The Netherlands will look at this and compare it with the local situation.
- Less important in the consideration for travel advice is the total number of active cases. In this, we must continue to ensure that the number of people admitted to hospital is manageable within our regular capacity and that the number of people who die from COVID-19 remains as low as possible.
Together with the tourism sector, the Curaçao government is calling on all citizens to combat and control this virus to prevent our country from remaining economically destabilized. This situation can cause many people to lose their jobs or become ill at the same time, and we don’t want that. This will have a major social impact with long-term effects on public health. It is a situation that will ensure that we will continue to feel the effects of the economic crisis in the years to come, just as we are already seeing the psychological effects in individuals in our society who suffer from problems with their emotional and mental health.
Precisely to avoid these effects, the government and the tourism sector keep repeating the central message: Stay home! Work from home whenever possible. Only go outside to make essential purchases or to arrange urgent matters. The basis must be: Stay home! Don’t think you are not at risk. Also provide protection at work.
On Monday, December 14, the government will evaluate whether the measures introduced on December 1 last are sufficient to reduce the large number of positive cases per day or whether these should be intensified. That choice depends on the commitment of each of us. Do it for yourself, your loved ones and our country. So that we can enjoy a relatively normal turn of the year and quickly see more tourists on Curaçao again.