PHILIPSBURG: Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley announced that Sint Maarten will begin transitioning into the endemic phase of COVID-19. The Minister stated that recently the word ‘endemic’ is being used as a term to reference exiting the pandemic. Minister Ottley stated that misconceptions about the word endemic may encourage a misplaced complacency. He further stated that entering into the endemic phase of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus doesn’t mean that COVID-19 will come to a natural end.
It just means that COVID -19 will now be considered an endemic infection, one in which overall rates are static — not rising, not falling. This is why we have been working on policies to shape the years to come. These policies, continued health hygiene measures and individual behavior will determine what form the endemic COVID-19 takes.
With that being said, the Minister elaborated on the first transitional steps to be taken in his back to normalcy strategy; as of Friday, February 25th the nightlife business hours will be extended to 3 am.
The Minister also wants to notify the local population and the rest of the world that as of March 1st, 2022, we will revert back to allowing persons who received their booster shot or two(2) doses of an approved vaccine, two(2)weeks or more prior to travel, may enter the country without requiring a test. Persons who have recovered from COVID-19 up to 9 months post-infection, will also be allowed entry to the country without requiring a test.
“These first steps are a phased approach towards the normalcy strategy.” Said Minister Ottley. In the next phase, other mandates and restrictions will be lifted in a careful and safe manner to ensure a safe and effective transition into normalcy.
The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley informs the public, that in accordance with his COVID-19 phased approach for the nightlife; business hours will be scaled back to 11 pm.
The phased approach is based on the hospital's occupancy rate and capacity, to avoid a possible collapse of our health care system, while maintaining a balance in our economic activity on the island.
For clarity, the Ministerial Regulation goes into effect on Wednesday, January 12th, with the understanding that all nightlife establishments must be closed by 11 pm.
Due to the significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases across all territories of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, Prefet Serge GOUTEYRON has decided to set up a curfew from this Friday, January 07, 2022, from 24h00 to 5h00in accordance with order RAA-2022-002 of Thursday, January 6, 2022. The situation will subsequently be assessed according to the health situation.
Travel between these times will be prohibited except on the presentation of a certificate personal or professional derogatory.
For more information on how to attain a certificate, click the link below.