Suriname Relaxes Several COVID-19 Measures

PARAMARIBO, Suriname – The Suriname government has relaxed a number of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

SANsurPresident Chandrikapersad Santokhi announcing relaxation of some COVID-19 measures“Now that the time has come and we have things under control, it is time to return freedom to society, to all sectors,” President Chandrikapersad Santokhi said in a statement, adding that the COVID-19 9 situation is “reasonably under control”.

The authorities here have taken the decision to relax some of the measures after an evaluation of the situation, including the number of persons hospitalized and the workload among employees in the health sector.

“All these aspects give us reason to start developing a different policy regarding COVID-19 in Suriname,” Santokhi sai8d, acknowledging that “heavy sacrifices” had been made and that the “many limitations were not always understood.

“But one thing is certain: to survive COVID-19, we made sacrifices and had to take very far-reaching and heavy measures,” Santhoki said, adding “therefore it is strongly recommended that the Mohana Rules continue to be used in confined spaces.

“We expect managers and owners to take responsibility to exercise control themselves and not leave that to the government and public services,” Santhoki said, noting that the measures that had been in place “even caused tension in society.

“But we had to show leadership to protect our society. Now that the time has come, I think that we as a society must return to the new normal. We must do everything to protect each other and ensure that there is no further spread.”

The he Suriname Communications Service (CDS) said that the new measures have already gone into effect and that the Mohana Rules, which have been the focus of attention since the coronavirus outbreak in the country, now have the status of “urgent advice”.

Furthermore, the ban on gatherings has been completely lifted and the entry policy and border passages have been adjusted.

The authorities said that wearing mouth and nose coverings in confined spaces, at large indoor gatherings, where more than 50 people are gathered and in places where the necessary distance cannot be maintained will remain and that people should always observe the 1.5 meters physical distance, dubbed here the COVID-19 distance.

In addition, people are urged to wash their hands regularly with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer and that until further notice, people will be allowed to enter commercial premises or premises of any kind whatever, as well as commercial and private events.

The government said that until further notice, only flights from The Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, Guyana, French Guiana, Brazil, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, will be allowed in Surinamese airspace.

It said passenger traffic from Haiti will only be allowed for residents of the Republic of Suriname and persons who will be used in the development of specific sectors after explicit prior permission from the Surinamese authorities to the companies.

Freight and passenger traffic on water from Guyana and French Guiana,  will be allowed until further notice and that travelers who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to leave and enter Suriname by showing proof of their vaccination status.

“Travellers who are not or not fully vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2 and who are residents of Suriname or are diplomats, will be allowed to travel from abroad to Suriname…until further notice…if they are in possession of a negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen test result not older than 24 hours before departure of the aircraft to Suriname or a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result not older than 48 hours before departure”.

The authorities said that persons against whom a measure of quarantine, isolation or mandatory stay at home has been notified or imposed, is prohibited from leaving the designated area until a negative test.