Saba opens doors for leisure travel from low-risk islands

Transit in St. Maarten not allowed

THE BOTTOM - Leisure travel between Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will be possible as of Wednesday, July 1, if passengers do not transit in St. Maarten, because these islands have a similar epidemiological situation and are very low risk.

Because St. Maarten and Aruba are opening their borders to also North America, leisure travel from those islands to Saba remains prohibited. The possibility of leisure travel from medium and high-risk countries to Saba is not expected before October 1, 2020, it emerged from the latest emergency ordinance of Saba, which remains in force until July 15.

 The Netherlands, France and many other European countries, as well as St. Maarten and Aruba are considered medium-risk countries at this moment. The United States, the Dominican Republic and most South and Central American countries are considered high risk.

Persons who wish to travel to Saba for leisure, must send an email to The Island Governor will make a decision on the request after an advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). If approved, the person will receive a letter, which is required for traveling to Saba.

The epidemiological situation in Saba is good. The island is COVID-19 free and is still able to contain COVID-19. This means that the alert level is currently scaled down to level 1, which means that measures are relaxed. Bars and restaurants as well as shops and schools are open and there is no enforced physical distancing of 1.5 meters between persons or limitations on gatherings.

The focus of the latest emergency ordinance is on the entry through Saba’s borders. Looking at the epidemiological situation in Europe, North America, Central America and South America, and looking at what the sister islands within the Dutch Kingdom are doing, the entry and quarantine policy for Saba has been established to ensure containment and not over-exhaust the Public Health Department and Saba healthcare, the public entity Saba said.

The entry policy is risk-based. Each country of origin will be classified in one of three categories by the Public Health Department based on the current level of COVID-19 and the level of spread of coronavirus within the relevant country. Based on the monitoring and testing capacity on Saba, at no point should there be more than 50 people in quarantine.

Outgoing travelers do not need the island governor’s permission, but in many cases persons may require authorization from their destination country.

If a person is leaving with the intention of returning to Saba, a request for return must be sent to The local government will only facilitate repatriation and essential travel; therefore, arrangements for any other travels are the responsibility of the traveler.

If people wish to go on holiday, they will be informed that only Saba residents will be allowed to return, and quarantine will be required if the country to which they travel is categorized as medium- or high-risk, for which they will have to bear the cost themselves. Therefore, it is advised that quarantine requirements be discussed with employers beforehand to determine how this may affect the traveler’s return to work.

The Saba government will publish the valid categorization of a selected number of relevant countries on the Facebook page of the public entity Saba and provide updates if anything changes.

Countries selected are those most commonly travelled from to Saba. If a person would like to travel from a country that is not categorized, the Public Health Department will advise the OMT and the island governor accordingly.

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