SABA–Saba will be partially reopening its borders per May 1, 2021. Quarantining will be lifted for fully-vaccinated persons, quarantining for non-vaccinated persons will be five days and vaccinated day trippers will be welcome again.

Until now, Saba has used a containment strategy with strict entry regulations to keep COVID-19 at bay. With more than 85 percent of the adult population and the risk groups fully vaccinated by May 1, thereby protecting the vulnerable Sabans against severe disease, the Public Entity Saba has decided to implement the first phase of the mitigation strategy per May 1.

Per this date, fully-vaccinated persons may enter the island without quarantining for 10 days. Non-vaccinated persons will continue to require quarantine during this phase, but for 5 days instead of 10. The 5-day quarantine decision is based on the recommendation of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Non-vaccinated persons under the age of 18 coming in from high-risk areas will not have to go into strict quarantine as they are much less infectious, but they will have to stay out of school, daycare, afterschool care for 5 days after arrival. All incoming travelers from high-risk areas will still need to do a pre-travel test. Tests on arrival and/or after day 5 will also be in place for certain groups.

People will keep having to acquire permission through i[email protected] before coming to Saba, except for visitors who come to the island for one day. Only vaccinated persons will be allowed as day trippers.

Saba will move to a two-category risk categorization system: high and low risk. Countries/territories are considered low risk if there is no local circulation of COVID-19 for the past 14 days. As is already the case, persons coming from low-risk areas don’t have to do a pre-travel test and don’t have to quarantine. For now, the island will remain at awareness level 1, which means that daily routines will continue, with basic hygiene measures and extra emphasis on persons remaining at home when sick.

This first phase per May 1 will be assessed after a month. The reopening strategy is, as always, dependent on how the pandemic continues to develop, and for example the emergence of a vaccine-escaping strain could lead to adjustments of the strategy.

On March 19, the second batch of Moderna vaccines will arrive on Saba from the Netherlands. The week after, the second round of vaccinations will take place.

LAGA UN KOMENTARIO

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