Photo description: An man greets a man with a face mask on the streets of Kralendijk in Bonaire

How did COVID-19 develop in the Caribbean Netherlands and what is the current situation?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius as much as the rest of the world. As of March 2020, the islands had to cope with periods with rising numbers of infections, resulting in containment measures that were established by the government, such as lockdowns, shelters in place and the closing of borders. The impact of COVID-19 was felt in all aspects of life in the Caribbean Netherlands.

The 2021 edition of this publication covered the period until September 2021, as represented in the infographic. This year, an overview of the developments up to August 2022 has been added to the graphic, further described in this section. Up until 18 August 2022, Bonaire and St Eustatius registered 30 and 5 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, respectively. There have been no cases of confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Saba.

This infographic shows how COVID-19 was felt in the Caribbean Netherlands between March 2020 and August 2022. Even though a cause and effect relationship cannot always be proven, there have been notable developments for example in the development of the island populations, numbers of visitors and (consumer) prices. 14 M a r ch 2020 Bonai r e: ban on international flights 16 M a r ch 2020 Saba and S t Eustatius: flight ban f or high-risk c ountries 14 M a r ch 2020 Last cruise ship on Bonai r e 16 M a r ch 2020 Saba Uni v e r sity switched to online lectu r es 19 M a r ch 2020 – 11 M a y 2020 Closu r e of schools and d a y ca r e on Bonai r e 31 M a r ch 2020 1st two positi v e cases on S t Eustatius 16 A p ril 2020 1st positi v e case on Bonai r e 2 J u l y 2020 Fi r st flight f r om Eu r ope to Bonai r e 21 - 30 S e p t e m ber 2020 Bonai r e in loc k d o wn 18 M a r ch 2021 – 1 A p ril 2021 Bonai r e in loc k d o wn 18 M a r ch 2021 – 12 A p ril 2021 Closu r e of schools and d a y ca r e on Bonai r e 1 M a y 2021 Saba wel c omes tourists (f r om l o w -risk c ountries) 14 J u n e 2021 S t Eustatius wel c omes tourists (f r om l o w -risk c ountries) 5 J u n e 2021 Fi r st flight f r om the United S tates to Bonai r e 12 A p ril 2020 – 9 M a y 2020 1st positi v e case on Saba , she l ter in pla c e Note: the ab o v e C O VID-19 timeline has been updated until 30 September 2021 . A n y m e asu r es or changes after this date h av e not been taken into a cc ount . C O VID-19 t i m e l i n e f o r t h e C ari b b e an N e t h e r l a n d s 18 F e b r u ary 2022 Saba lifts a l l on-island r estrictions 4 M a r ch 2022 Bonai r e lifts a l l on-island r estrictions 11 M a y 2022 S t Eustatius lifts a l l on-island r estrictions

Which containment measures were necessary?

After COVID-19 made its way to the islands, containment measures were introduced. These measures were necessary due to the vulnerable position of the islands (limited healthcare possibilities, no ICU capacity), and they affected tourism, the economy and society in general.

The precautionary measures included restrictions on the number of people gathering at e.g. churches, supermarkets, restaurants and at sports activities, as well as compulsory hygienic measures (the ‘on-island measures’). At the same time, all borders for national and international travel were managed through an exit/entry policy.

Apart from travel restrictions, Bonaire had two lockdowns due to the further spread of coronavirus: one in Q3 2020 and one from mid-March to beginning of April 2021. During this last lockdown, a curfew was put in place. From 15 January to 1 February 2022, containment measures were tightened due to another rise in COVID-19 cases.

Saba merely had a three-week lockdown, in Q2 2020. On St Eustatius, accommodation and food service establishments had to close their doors from 3 April to 15 May 2020, with the exception of take-out establishments. This was also the case in September and October 2020. In Q1 2022, St Eustatius had to enforce stricter measures due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Relief measure were put in place between May 2020 and the end of 2021. More details follow in this publication.

How did data collection take place during COVID-19?

COVID-19 also impacted data collection for statistical purposes. For example, the compilation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Caribbean Netherlands was affected, because at times there was no or limited possibility of collecting prices from certain products and services. In some cases it was even impossible to observe prices. The latter was the case for Saba in April 2020, during the shelter in place, and for Bonaire during the lockdowns in September 2020 and in March 2021. Since the measures put in place on St Eustatius affected travellers and businesses to a minor extent, the impact on data collection for the CPI remained minimal. Further measures put In place on the islands in the first and second quarters of 2022 had no impact on CPI data collection.

The Labour Force Survey Caribbean Netherlands (LFS-CN) is usually held every two years, between October and December. Due to the COVID-19 measures, the survey could not be conducted earlier than between December 2020 and March 2021. The survey, which is usually held face-to-face, was now also conducted via telephone on Bonaire, in order to minimise contact between interviewers and interviewees.

The Omnibus Survey, which takes place every four years, is held between October and December. In 2021, COVID-19 had no effect on this survey.

What is the current situation?

After a stable period regarding infections, Bonaire and St Eustatius again experienced an increased number of positive COVID-19 cases in January 2022. This meant a reintroduction of containment measures on both islands, which contributed to a gradual drop in infections. A low number of COVID-19 cases and the burden on the economy and the local healthcare system led the local governments to relax the COVID-19 measures. Saba lifted all on-island restrictions on 18 February, followed by Bonaire and St Eustatius on 4 March and 11 May 2022, respectively. Shortly after, the restrictions on travelling to the islands were no longer applicable.

Note: The described COVID-19 timeline has been updated until 31 August 2022. Possible measures or changes after this date have not been taken into account.


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

Disclaimer and copyright


On this website, CBS uses functional cookies on this website to allow proper functioning of the site. These cookies do not contain personal user data and have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In addition, CBS uses analytical cookies to track visitor statistics, including the number of page views, which topics users are searching, and how visitors reach our website. The purpose is to gain insight into the functioning of the website in order to improve your user experience. We minimise traceability of visitors to our website as much as possible by anonymising the final octet (group of eight bits) of each IP address. These data are not shared with other parties. CBS does not use tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are cookies that track visitors during their browsing of other websites.

The functional and analytical cookies have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In accordance with current regulations, these cookies may be placed without prior consent.

More information (in Dutch only):

Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

Statistics Netherlands (CBS)

In a society where the amount of information is growing explosively, free access to reliable and integral data is crucial. As the national statistical office, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) provides reliable statistical information and data to produce insight into social issues, thus supporting the public debate, policy development and decision-making while contributing to prosperity, well-being and democracy.

CBS was established in 1899 in response to the need for independent and reliable information that advances the understanding of social issues. This is still the main role of CBS. Through time, CBS has grown into an innovative knowledge institution, with continuous adoption of new technologies and developments in order to safeguard the quality of its data and its independent position.

CBS in the Caribbean Netherlands

Statistics Netherlands opened an office on Bonaire in 2010. The Bonaire office is responsible for all statistics referring to the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands: Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, compiling statistics about prices, population, labour, income, the economy, tourism and trade.

Publications can be found in the dossier Caribbean Netherlands.


StatLine is the database of Statistics Netherlands. Statistics Netherlands offers a wealth of figures about the economy and society in the Netherlands and Caribbean Netherlands, freely available as tables, graphs of maps.

If you have any questions, or can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us:

Statistics Netherlands

Bulevar Gobernador N. Debrot 67, unit 9 | Kralendijk, Bonaire

Telephone number +599 717 8676

Email: caribischnederland@cbs.n

Please find us on Facebook


Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.