(PRESS RELEASE) – Sint Maarten is in a partial lockdown and therefore measures taken is part of the Government’s preparedness, response and mitigation efforts in connection with the COVID-19 global pandemic.
These are extraordinary times. Government has a responsibility to protect the safety and health of the people of Sint Maarten.
Travel Document Required to Move Around
In a meeting of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) held on March 29, 2020, on increasing measures to ensure the safety and security of the population in this COVID-19 period, the Prime Minister took several decisions in relation to the movement of persons in and around Sint Maarten and increased controls in movement across the border in collaboration with French Saint-Martin counterparts.
The Government of Sint Maarten will be increasing its restrictions as per article 1 of the General Police Ordinance, which allows for special measures in extraordinary circumstances. This regulation will restrict movement and authorize the police to enforce the request the Prime Minister made to the nation on Friday, March 27, to STAY AT HOME, and to practice extreme social distancing, and when necessary to be out for essential services only.
This regulation will require the citizens to carry a document on them, signed by their employer, declaring the need for them to travel to work, or one which describes which essential service they are traveling to or for. This document will be available for download by the citizens of Sint Maarten on Government’s website www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus.
Joint Border Controls to Continue
Also, in collaboration with French Saint-Martin counterparts, the Prefet Sylvie Feucher, the Gendarmes, and the Sint Maarten Police Department, will continue to patrol the borders in order to restrict any non-essential movement across borders as well. This is in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As such, all residents of Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin needing to cross the border will only be able to do so for either work purposes or health purposes and will be required to carry a new document that will be available on both Government’s website for download.
Licensed Restaurants/Street Vendors Banned from Selling Alcohol
Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, all licensed restaurants including street vendors will only be able to sell/deliver food. It is strictly forbidden to sell alcoholic beverages at these establishments. This is in order to minimize the chance of persons gathering at these establishments in a social atmosphere where proper social distancing of 1,5 – 2 meters is observed. The business closures at 6:00 PM each day and business closures on Sundays will remain in effect.
Curfew from 8.00PM to 6.00AM
As of Monday, March 30, 2020, a curfew is in place from 8:00 PM until 6:00 AM the following morning. This curfew is implemented in order to restrict movement except for emergencies during these hours and has been added in order to ensure that no unnecessary movement occurs during the established business closure times.
Persons traveling to essential work, before and after the established curfew (6:00 AM and after 8:00 PM) will be exempted from this measure. For example, those persons working night shifts and early morning shifts, including security guards, nurses, radio hosts, etc.
For official information and updates visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus or its Facebook Page: Facebook.com/SXMGOV