SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Saba’s Outbreak Management Team (OMT) on Tuesday decided to place the United States (US) in the very high-risk category per Thursday, August 26. Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten are already a high-risk destination. Also, the OMT decided to change the entry and on-island requirements for vaccinated persons arriving from a country in the very high-risk category.
To enter Saba from a very-high risk country, persons must show a negative PCR test taken maximum 72 hours prior to arrival on Saba and a valid electronic EHAS entry form. They must also always wear a mask when out in public, avoid large gatherings and crowded areas, practice physical distancing and excellent hand hygiene, ensure that rooms are well ventilated, work from home, and test on day five after arrival at the testing center.
Persons working with vulnerable people are required to stay at home for the first five days upon arriving on the island until being tested negative on day five. These professions include all persons working with children as well as medical staff. Local organizations have been recommended to make a specific plan on how this will affect them and their staff.
The conditions go into effect on August 26. Further information concerning the requirements can be found on the Saba Tourism website, www.sabatourism.com. Island Governor Jonathan Johnson announced the changed requirements for arriving vaccinated persons via an audio message on Tuesday.
On May 1, Saba began to reduce some measures and opening up the island little by little. “After being in our own bubble for over a year, with very restrictive travel measures, these more relaxed measures are something that takes getting used to. Saba has a unique situation, whereby we have a high vaccination rate of over 90% of the adult population, and these vaccination numbers continue to increase as we continue vaccinating persons and now including the youth,” said Johnson.
“However, as we saw in the past weeks, just like everywhere in the world, we will also have COVID-19 cases. Because of our on-island measures, these cases have not resulted in local transmissions. As we are in the mitigation phase, these things will happen. Mitigation means that we are not closing the island, but our measures help to minimize any COVID-19 outbreaks, while analyzing the situation globally and regionally, and adapting where necessary to ensure our public health is not at risk,” said Johnson.
“We are all in this together, and everybody must do their part. It is not only the duty of the OMT or government to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, but also of the community. Continue to take personal responsibility when traveling and adhere to the on-island rules of your travel destinations,” Johnson reminded the people on Saba.
The community was also asked to call the Saba Cares clinic if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, to stay at home as much as possible when sick, and continue to monitor all communications from the Public Entity Saba. “The COVID-19 virus can affect anyone, and we should treat everyone with respect,” Johnson said.