After deliberations in the Council of Ministers’ on Friday, May 15, 2020, it was decided that based on the government efforts to properly contain the virus, leading to a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases on the both sides, and the bonds that exist between the people on both sides, it is no longer necessary to maintain the border controls and restrictions of movement between the two sides.
Therefore, as of Sunday morning, which is a non-movement day, the Dutch Police Force will no longer control the internal borders of St. Maarten. The container which was placed by our police force at the Oyster Pond border to minimize the number of borders requiring control, will also be removed on Sunday. as businesses re-open in phase 2 on Monday morning The police force will be focusing its energy on de-escalation measures, and ensuring that safety and security is maintained during this process. Prime Minister Jacobs informed the public that the police force will continue to maintain the night curfew which will be enforced from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM as of Monday evening.
“As it was before the ‘State of Emergency,’ the Dutch side of the island will no longer require waivers. This is a small 37 square mile island, and we have tried our best to synchronize measures with our northern counterparts to protect the population from the spread of this virus; In so doing we recognize that at times it causes some stress to our citizens with family and economic ties on both sides. We therefore see no need for this to continue as the COVID-19 cases are well under control, and it’s time to normalize movement even further. As businesses reopen, more persons will need to access their business, or their place of work, making this extra task unreasonable.” The Prime Minister stated.
On the Dutch Side, Collective Prevention Services (CPS) community outreach testing campaign will continue, this and next weekend, however, during the week, normal movement is allowed to give persons the opportunity to earn a living and get our economy restarted while upholding the guidelines for safety of employees and clients.
After discussions with our French counterparts on Saturday morning, they were updated on the decision of the Council of Ministers: however, it was confirmed by Madame la Prefet Feucher that the French gendarmes will maintain the controls at the border as they require additional time to evaluate whether their containment efforts via community testing have been successful. As a result there of, the French counterparts will continue to require waivers to allow movement to French St. Martin.
“In discussions held with President Gibbs and the Collectivite, PM Jacobs says she was informed by President Gibbs that he has contacted the Minister of Overseas Territories Annick Girardin and advised her to also lift the border controls as a result of the decision taken by the Council of Ministers of St. Maarten in an effort to synchronize the measures on both sides of the island as border control is a competency of the state.
Prime Minister Jacobs called on the Population to continue to be aware of the dangers of the virus and to continue practicing the guidelines while in public; wearing a mask at all times, keeping a social distance of 2 meters and practicing proper hand hygiene frequently in order to avoid a second wave. She said our behavior will determine the success of our de-escalation of measures.
In view of the French decision She claims there are times, unfortunately, when our different systems cannot synchronize, but we will continue to meet and discuss best practices moving forward and do our best to foster cooperation as we de-escalate measures and continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.