Curacao implements stricter curfew as Covid figures rise
The government of Curacao announced stricter measures against the coronavirus as infections on the island continue to increase. The existing curfew will be brought forward, now starting at 9:00 p.m. instead of 11:00 p.m. And face masks will be mandatory for adults in supermarkets, other shops, on public transport, and at funerals.
Covid-19 infections on Curacao has been rising rapidly for a week, increasing from around 20 per day to an average of 40 new infections per day.
Many medical personnel from the Curacao Medical Center, the Advent Hospital, and other healthcare institutions are among the infected. The Curacao Medical Center discontinued all but absolutely necessary surgeries. About a quarter of the beds at the hospital can't be used because there is not enough staff. Reinforcements were requested from the Netherlands and nursing staff from St Eustatius and Bonaire were deployed over the weekend.
Many infections were traced back to parties - people not keeping a safe distance and failing to wear a mask when going out, according to NOS.
The rising infections on the Dutch Caribbean island may be a blow for Netherlands residents hoping to go on holiday this winter. Nearly two weeks ago, Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on Netherlands residents not to travel abroad until at least mid-January. But he added that the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom are not considered "abroad".
A code yellow travel advice currently applies to Curacao, which means that recreational travel to the island is allowed, but Netherlands residents should take heed of and adhere to the local measures in place against the spread of the coronavirus.