(PRESS RELEASE) – The travel restrictions which were issued by the Government of Sint Maarten have now been increased from 14 to 21-days, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs disclosed on Wednesday.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be meeting on Thursday and a meeting will be held with Members of Parliament (MPs) to provide them with an update on national preparations for COVID-19.
Jacobs said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared that the coronavirus COVID-19 is now an international pandemic. Such a declaration calls on all countries to speed up their response and containment measures and to be prepared to take any additional measures that are required to protect public health.
The Government continues to work closely with the Government of French Saint-Martin and Kingdom counterparts in order to prepare and plan to mitigate the spread.
Prime Minister Jacobs added that the business community as well as Government will have to look at ways of allowing workers to work remotely from home, especially for persons who have traveled to COVID-19 hotspots including those who are not mentioned in the country’s travel restriction lists.
Persons should self- isolate for 14-days at home; contact their family physician (GP) and provide a list of their flu-like symptoms to their GP if they develop any. The family physician will determine if the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) should be contacted. For more information you can call the 914-hot line during business hours.
Children with flu-like symptoms should remain home; self-isolation is the best way to contain communicable diseases. Special attention should be paid to senior citizens, especially those with pre-existing health (respiratory) conditions.
Passengers and airline crew who have been in China (People’s Republic), Hong Kong (SAR China), Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Macao (SAR China) or Singapore in the past 21 days, are not allowed to transit or enter Sint Maarten.
This does not apply to nationals of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (being from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Netherlands, St. Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten); and this does not apply to residents of Sint Maarten.
All passengers must fill in the embarkation card in order to know where the passengers are coming from before the aircraft/ship arrives in Sint Maarten.
There are zero cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 on Dutch Sint Maarten at this time. Our screening processes at our ports of entry have been stepped up in cooperation with the airlines who are also following their own screening protocols based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.
There is no reason to panic; stay calm and take preventative hygiene measures at home, on the job, in school that have been promoted by the Ministry of Public Health for the past several weeks via the Government’s Department of Communication.
Persons should refrain from hugging and touching each other when visiting family or friends. We have to get back to the ‘No touch rule’ in order to protect ourselves at this point in time with the global COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government continues to work diligently to increase capacity within the public health sector, but this will take some time.
Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM – for official information, statements and news updates or visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus or and Facebook Page: Facebook.com/SXMGOV