Marine Scientist and Master Instructor
- Reaction score
- U.S. East Coast
- # of dives
- 2500 - 4999
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For myself…This raises a lot of questions but mostly on the “self” level, will I travel to a place that has “givin in” to Covid? The issue for me is that I don’t know that “self“ answer, I’ve done all that I can medically to protect myself but I’m put off by the constantly changing requirements and unknowns. Maybe we should have “plague planes” to allow people to go home for isolation
What is also very good news:Bonaire Testing Update: no more Day 5 test or self-test on arrival
Announced last night Jan 13, press conference this afternoon, Jan 14.
"From Sunday 16 January 2022, travelers from high-risk countries will not have to take a self-test on arrival and they will not have to take a PCR test on the fifth day after arrival. These strict travel conditions have been made mandatory by Bonaire in the past to delay the arrival of the omikron variant to the island. Now that 90% of the infections on the island are caused by this variant, there is no longer any reason for these extra travel conditions."
Zelftest bij aankomst en PCR-test op vijfde dag niet langer nodig voor reizigers hoog risicolanden - Crisiswebsite van het Openbaar Lichaam BonaireZelftest bij aankomst en PCR-test op vijfde dag niet langer nodig voor reizigers hoog risicolanden - Crisiswebsite van het Openbaar Lichaam Bonairewww.bonairecrisis.com
They are really overwhelmed.
"Normally the call center receives 200 calls a day and 400 on busier days. The call center and Public Health, like other employers, struggle with employees who are in isolation or in quarantine."
Nieuwe aanpak bij Publieke Gezondheid door topdrukte - Crisiswebsite van het Openbaar Lichaam BonaireNieuwe aanpak bij Publieke Gezondheid door topdrukte - Crisiswebsite van het Openbaar Lichaam Bonairewww.bonairecrisis.com
"Due to the increase in the number of infections with the omikron variant, the call center had a record number of 1,030 callers last Monday. Public Health hopes the new approach will make a difference. "
"In the new approach, employees no longer call people in isolation or quarantine to see if they have any complaints and whether they can get out of isolation or quarantine. That is decided by the people themselves. They will receive an email with an explanation when they can be released from isolation or quarantine. The isolation generally lasts 7 days. People who had complaints can be released from isolation on the 7th day after their first day of illness if they no longer have complaints. The first day on which they developed complaints counts as day 0."
This was the case in earlier rules. The Nov 30 rules allowed either pre-test for fully vaccinated travelers.Fully vaccinated travelers from high risk countries must have a PCR test 48 hours before departure or an antigen test 24 hours before departure.
Continued testing for visitors may have a psychological impact on tourism. I want to go somewhere I feel safe, even if it's a false sense of security. When I was in Mexico recently I felt like I was looking over my shoulder the whole time because I had no idea which of my fellow divers were taking the virus seriously. Knowing that everyone I am arriving with on Bonaire tested received a negative test just a day or two ago gives me some peace of mind. I figure that the kind of people who are willing to jump through Bonaire's hoops are the kind who take precautions generally. In contrast, the kind of people who choose Mexico as a destination might do so because they dislike the idea of testing, and perhaps, other precautions.Vaccines, not tests, are what's working for Bonaire now.
Givin in to Covid or reality is pretty much the same thing, I’m all for the plague plane idea, I would even offer discounts for the unvaxed to fill any empty seats, I’m pretty fed up with fools who …I don't see this change as Bonaire's having given in--just adjusting to the facts. The numbers of positives among "visitors to Bonaire" have been fairly low -- eight Wednesday out of 158 positives, although it was 25/96 on Tuesday (compared with 30/59 on January 2). It makes sense to me that whether a visitor brings Omicron to the island is not especially significant now because Omicron rules, so separating out a particular subpopulation doesn't make sense anymore. Bonaire's population is more than 80% vaccinated, and I assume that this number is higher for visitors--who wants to isolate for five days before hitting the water?--so nearly all visitor infections are presumably breakthrough, and mild. Vaccines, not tests, are what's working for Bonaire now.
Given that Delta is all but gone and Omicron is wildfire the U.S., query whether even the lateral-flow test for entry to the U.S. makes sense anymore, except as a way to encourage Americans to behave themselves when overseas (not a bad thing, of course). I get that keeping Omicron off airplanes is a good idea, but given the transmissibility, there are opportunities aplenty to get infected between taking a test on Friday morning, and getting on an airplane late Saturday afternoon.
I ditched the idea of visiting Bonaire or Curacao in Feb due to the inconsistent and ambiguous testing requirements. One minute a PCR is required, next, the antigen test suffices. The midweek testing in addition to the 24 hour testing the US requires is also rigorous. Getting a PCR result prior to departure to the island was the deal breaker. I agree with you that it seemed like a lot of visitors in Mexico were not taking precautions. One bar actually had staff pass around a hookah to the customers. While Feb is not my ideal time to visit Cozumel, it is better than staying in the middle of the US.In contrast, the kind of people who choose Mexico as a destination might do so because they dislike the idea of testing, and perhaps, other precautions.
I guess you weren't keeping up with the actual requirements, instead of your imagined "inconsistent and ambiguous testing requirements." I feel much more comfortable taking a single test before going to Bonaire than I do taking no test whatsoever before going to Mexico.I ditched the idea of visiting Bonaire or Curacao in Feb due to the inconsistent and ambiguous testing requirements. One minute a PCR is required, next, the antigen test suffices. The midweek testing in addition to the 24 hour testing the US requires is also rigorous. Getting a PCR result prior to departure to the island was the deal breaker.
Depending on how you dive there, this may be a selling point for Bonaire. If you just shore dive, alone or with a buddy you trust, you can greatly reduce exposure to other people vs. many destinations. No dive boat. One trip to Van den Tweel, maybe patronize some of the food trucks (outdoors, there's a wind). You could largely avoid indoor crowded exposures during the week. No dive boat trips with fellow passengers or guides required.I want to go somewhere I feel safe, even if it's a false sense of security. When I was in Mexico recently I felt like I was looking over my shoulder the whole time because I had no idea which of my fellow divers were taking the virus seriously.