photo: John Samson

THE HAGUE – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Curaçao has decided to close its borders. Only residents of the island are allowed to return. During the last couple of days a lot of questions have been asked about when a passenger is allowed to return. How does it work?

Curaçao sees Europe as a ‘high risk area’. This is also the reason why individuals who live in the Netherlands are not being let into the country. When asked how long this measure will be in effect, the government could not give an answer.

Tourist who are on Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao can return to Europe. If needed, KLM will send empty planes to the islands to pick up stranded passengers and bring them back home.

Back to Curaçao
Individuals who are allowed to return to Curaçao are those who live on the island and are registered there. The airlines will firstly check if an individual has a return ticket or whether they can prove that they are a resident.

Not for funerals
Curaçaoans who live in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe are not welcome on the island. This is also the case if a person passes away and you wish to attend the funeral says minister for Transport Zita Jesus-Leito.

Not possible via ‘alternative routes’

Social media posts show that tourists, businessmen, and partners who don’t live on Curaçao are considering different flight paths to reach the island. “Alternative routes” will “also be denied entry” according to minister Jesus-Leito.

Not for migration

People who had already planned to move to the island have to stay in the Netherlands for now. Individuals who are no longer registered in the Netherlands will not be allowed onto flights departing from Amsterdam and will not be granted access to the island at Hato.

Quarantined on arrival?

Once the passenger arrives at Hato, a check will be carried out to see whether or not the individual is a resident and whether they are in good health. Some European countries dictate a mandatory quarantine. Curaçao is not doing that, as was broadcast in certain media outlets.

“Individuals are tested upon arrival and they are asked if they can go into voluntary quarantine”, according to minister Jesus-Leito. “That means: staying home and not coming into contact with anyone for a while.”

A lot of questions

A lot of concerned passengers have been reaching out to KLM and Tui over the last couple of days. A lot of passengers with Caribbean destinations have been complaining about the slow stream of information.

Just like KLM, Tui will continue to fly to Curaçao for now. “This will be the case till at least the 22nd of March. If passengers want to return earlier, they can change their tickets for free if there are seats available. Passengers can change their tickets through local travel agents or at the local Tui office on Curaçao.”

The representative of the government of Curaçao in the Hague has been getting a lot of questions from concerned passenger and family members. “We’re doing our best to answer as many questions as possible. Most of the questions come in through social media”, says a spokesperson.