As of Sunday, March 22nd, The Prime Minister and chair of OEC confirmed in her update on the coronavirus status on St. Maarten, that there are currently 13 persons who are in self-isolation and are monitored after having been exposed to persons who have COVID-19. Out of the 13 persons being monitored, 10 have been deemed negative and one is still pending. The second case is a student who returned to St. Maarten a week ago and immediately went into self-isolation. We can also confirm that we have now 2 cases. This is the first confirmed person on Dutch St. Maarten, as well as one of the confirmed persons on French Saint Martin who were closely related to 3 persons on the Dutch side.
After a meeting Saturday, March 21st, with ESF 5, including Police and Immigration an official request was sent to His Excellency Governor E.B. Holiday for Military assistance in advance of an outbreak, and should their services be needed for further re-enforcement of the measures.
The Prime Minister announced further, after a meeting Sunday, March 22nd, 2020, with ESF 5 and ESF 10 which is (Ministry of TEATT), it has been decided that business closures, as of Monday, March 23rd, is updated. All business allowed to be open will remain open for service until 6:00 PM. The following services are, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, emergency and paramedic services, hotels, restaurants, essential government services, (including telecommunication & postal services, judicial services and utilities), public transportation operators, hardware stores, shipping and, cargo companies.
Businesses must ensure proper provisioning for social distancing of 1 to 2 meters and maximum grouping of no more 20 persons. If these measures are not adhere to, the establishment or institution run the risk of getting shut down by the authorities with immediate effect.
For the next two weeks, only gas stations, pharmacies and hotels (with attached amenities for guests only) will be allowed to remain open after 6:00 PM. Also, allowed after 6:00 PM, are nighttime employees of news outlets and necessary emergency services.
Beach vending, beach parties and groups of more than 5 persons are not allowed. Social Distancing, for those persons using the beach is recommended at one to two meters apart. If this is not adhered to, you will be asked to leave the beach.
Travel restrictions continues with Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 been the last day for resident passengers of St. Maarten to return to the Island for the next 2 weeks. No airlines will be bringing in residents or persons during the next 2 weeks. The only flights that you will see coming into the airport would be cargo flights or flights that are coming to pick up passengers to return them to their home address
The general public is asked to live up to their responsibility of being good citizens and adhere to the regulations and guidelines put in place to protect all. Persons found behaving or demonstrating such reckless and irresponsible behavior will have stringent measures taken against them in the form of fines. Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. I wish to encourage all to remain steadfast and continue to practice proper hygiene and prepare for what is a worldwide pandemic.