SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch nationals holidaying on Curacao, or working as interns there, are being urged to return to the Netherlands as quickly as possible because of the mounting coronavirus crisis on the Caribbean island.
The situation on the island is ‘very worrying’ and medical care cannot be guaranteed, the Dutch diplomatic mission on the island said in a post on Facebook. Hundreds of people have continued to travel to the islands for holidays, despite the government’s urging to stay at home.
Now, the number of infections on the highlight has soared – yesterday 431 people tested positive – and the island’s only hospital to treat coronavirus patients is full.
The Dutch authorities have urged people to contact their airline or travel organisation to make plans for a return. The call to come back does not apply to people stationed on the island for a longer period, such as the army.
On Thursday, the foreign affairs ministry revised its travel advice for the island and Aruba to orange, meaning but all but essential travel should be avoided. Travellers returning from the island must be tested for coronavirus before their departure and go into quarantine when they arrive back in the Netherlands.