SABA–As of Monday, May 24, Saba residents no longer have to purchase COVID-19 insurance when travelling to St. Maarten, instead they can indicate that they are covered by health insurance office ZVK. In addition, persons travelling through St. Maarten in same-day transit to Saba only have to fill out the Saba Electronic health Authorization System (EHAS) entry form, which is obtainable from website sabatourism.com. This was announced by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson in Monday’s coronavirus update.
The new phased opening of Saba is going well so far, but as with all new procedures, there will be things along the way that need to be monitored and adjusted, the governor said.
“I want to remind the community that our entry requirements and on-island measures are in place to help keep us safe. As part of this, I am issuing a stern warning that falsified documents, information, or any breaches in safety protocols will not be tolerated, and can result in fines or jail time. All documentation is carefully monitored.”
Saba’s governor stressed that it is vital for travellers to inform themselves of the procedures for entry in a timely manner. “Therefore, as soon as you receive your test results, if required, you should complete the entry form. If you wait until a few hours before arrival to Saba, you may not receive your approval in time. Approval can take up to 24 hours.”
Governor Johnson urged persons to respect the private time of persons dealing with the entry process to Saba, as there has been an increase in persons calling and texting outside working hours.
He also reminded residents who travel abroad to follow the local safety protocols. “We continue to see people neglecting their responsibility to themselves, their families and the community. Being vaccinated adds to our security, but it does not mean that we let our guard down, which brings me to testing. Testing is another requirement that helps to prevent local transmission of COVID-19 on Saba. Being vaccinated also does not exempt you from getting tested.”
The governor thanked Saba’s residents for their patience and understanding with the new processes which have been put in place to keep everyone safe. “Although it may seem bureaucratic and cumbersome, the reality is that COVID-19 still exists, and we need to continue to keep our island safe,” said Johnson.