Curacao reports record number new Covid infections
Just one week after Prime Minister Mark Rutte said people from the Netherlands could travel to the Dutch Caribbean islands for a winter break, but anywhere else was essentially off-limits, the island of Curacao reported its highest single-day total of new coronavirus infections.
On Thursday, Curacao reported that 51 people tested positive for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The local government is investigating whether this outbreak can be traced back to a single event. At least 30 of the new cases cannot be linked to existing cases, NU.nl reports.
The island now has 315 active coronavirus cases, including seven hospitalized patients, one of which is in intensive care.
Just last week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte strongly discouraged Netherlands residents from traveling abroad until mid-January, due to increasing infections in many popular destinations. He added that the Caribbean part of the Netherlands is not considered "abroad".
"The world map is already almost completely orange or red. Traveling is therefore a risk this winter anyway. And we do not want people who are now going on holiday abroad to bring the virus back home," Rutte said in a press conference on November 3. "The urgent advice is therefore: do not travel abroad until mid-January, unless it is really necessary. We do not treat the Caribbean part of the Kingdom as abroad. There, a negative travel advice only applies if an island is on orange."
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is using a four-tiered travel advice system related to the infection situation at the destination, ranging from green's "all is well" to red's "definitely do not travel there". The Caribbean islands are all currently at code yellow, which means that recreational travel is allowed, but travelers should take heed of and follow local measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Curacao has had a curfew since September 14, and dance and music activities have been banned since August. The local authorities also urge people to keep as much distance from each other as possible.