WILLEMSTAD - As of today, a package of precautions is in effect that the Curaçao government announced yesterday during a press conference on COVID-19. For the next three weeks, a curfew, will apply between 12.00 am and 4.30 am and a maximum of one hundred visitors in the nightlife and at activities and events.
The tightened measures are necessary to prevent the number of COVID-19 infections in Curaçao from continuing to increase and, as a result, an increase in the number of hospitalizations of patients with THE VIRUS in the Curaçao Medical Center (CMC).
As is well known, the hospital's IC capacity is under pressure, mainly due to a shortage of staff. Last week, data from the epidemiology department already made it clear that most infections are contracted in the nightlife on the island. But the tightened controls have had no effect.
The dramatic appeal to visitors and owners of the nightlife to respect the corona rules was not taken seriously. Chief inspector of the Ministry of Economic Development Ronnie Cornelis says a lot went wrong, citing as an example bribing guards and falsifying vaccination certificates and test results to get in.
The precautions that have now been taken are therefore mainly aimed at limiting the crowds in nightlife.
Prime Minister Gilmar Pisas is aware that the measures are hitting hard. “We are losing an important economic pillar,” he says. “A lot of money is spent in the nightlife.” But his government had no choice. Pisas says it is now about the importance of the country, about the human aspect. “Nobody wanted this, but it has to be done.”
The Prime Minister hopes that improvement will be seen in three weeks. After an evaluation, it is then decided whether the measures should be extended, tightened, or relaxed. This is done based on the number of infections, hospital admissions, the care capacity in the CMC, the space in the intensive care unit and the digitization of the vaccination certificate and the corona tests.
In general, no more than 100 visitors are allowed at activities and locations. Dancing and loud music is prohibited. All businesses must be closed at 11 p.m. and only people with a vital function are allowed on the street from 12 midnight. The number of one hundred visitors is a maximum, but if the space is too small to keep a distance, fewer people are allowed.
The number is then determined based on the rule that at least 3.5 square meters must be available for each person. This applies to the entertainment venues, but also, for example, funerals and boats that are used for charters or recreation. Drinks and food may only be served to customers sitting or standing at a table. BBQ trucks pan may be open between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM for take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery.
Until further notice, no requests for events and activities will be processed. In any case, an application must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the event or activity. This time is necessary to be able to check whether the measures and rules are being complied with.