Wednesday , February 28 2024

St. Maarten: State of emergency called, two-week shutdown to start midnight tonight – April 5 – 9 am

~ Community spread has started ~

Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs declared a state of emergency on Saturday evening in response to the growing spread of coronavirus COVID-19 in the country. Starting midnight tonight, St. Maarten will be under a 24-hour curfew for two weeks.

All movement will be prohibited during the shutdown, except for workers of emergency and essential services. These persons must in possession of a disaster pass, or written permission issued by Jacobs or Police Chief Carl John.

Persons without the necessary documentation risk arrest. Personnel of the Royal Dutch Marine Corps stationed in St. Maarten will be assisting police in enforcing the 24-hour curfew, said John. He confirmed that the marines will have full arrest powers.

Grocery stores, supermarkets, bakeries, electronics stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, medical practitioners, dental clinics and veterinary services will also be closed and will only operate “in case of emergencies.”

In anticipation of the shutdown, persons in St. Maarten flocked to grocery stores and supermarkets on Saturday before the close of business, resulting in long lines and crowding at many locations.

All construction projects are prohibited, except for construction related to the COVID-19 pavilions at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).

Two new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by Jacobs on Saturday, bringing the total number of positive cases on the Dutch-side to 25. The youngest case is an 11-year-old child. Four persons – two men and two women – have died from the disease thus far, ranging between 47 and 69 years old.

Jacobs said community spread of COVID-19 in St. Maarten has started. According to the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control, community spread means “people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.”

Jacobs also said the EOC will evaluate the situation in the country after one week to determine if the shutdown will be partially lifted to allow persons to procure necessary supplies.

The Daily Herald

Official Decision:

Mandatory Business Closures as per National Decree State of Emergency 2020/605 effective April 5, 2020:
All businesses are to remain closed to the public, with the exception of:
1. Medical Emergency & Paramedic Services (EMS)
2. Pharmacies ( based on regular schedule for Sundays and holidays)
3. Hotels, guesthouses, yachting agents and marinas, which still
have guests requiring service.
4. Security companies, which must continue to provide security
services to businesses.
5. Media outlets
6. Garbage collection services 7. Essential Government Services for emergencies only.
8. Remote Technical customer support services may continue for telecommunication (i.e. TELEM, UTS) and utility companies (GEBE).

  1. Freight services
    Freight services (offloading, on loading and related services) may continue at the Airport and Harbor. Deliveries and/or pick-ups are allowed for Government Services or one of the Essential Services allowed by Government (e.g Medical Institutions, Food Suppliers etc.)

  2. Shipping & cargo companies, incl. FedEx & DHL, may make emergency deliveries only for medical, pharmaceutical products & supplies (for Government and/or for Essential services determined by Government).

The below services must be closed to the public, but remain available in cases of emergencies:
a. Grocery Stores
b. Bakeries
c. Hardware stores
d. Electronic stores
e. Notaries
f. Medical Laboratory services
g. Medical practitioners
h. Dental Clinics
i. Veterinary Clinics

  1. All Construction projects must cease, with the exception of the COVID-related construction at SMMC.
  2. The following companies must be closed to the public, but may provide services to essential/ emergency services which is arranged by the emergency/essential services in advance:
    a. Restaurants
    b. Commercial laundry services
    c. Maintenance & Repair services. This includes all maintenance and repair services related to buildings, appliances, fixtures, vehicles and vessels. Including, but not limited to automotive garages, tire repair services, plumbing and electrical services, A/C installation and  AB 2020, no. 19 6 repair. These services may open for the purpose of the aforementioned based solely for Emergency cases.
    d. Only Two Gas stations and Suppliers of fuel (ULG & Diesel) are allowed to open namely, Sol Sucker Garden & Bush Road Gas Station (i.e. Bunker Point, N.V.) daily from 9 am until 5 p.m. to supply vehicles of essential and emergency services.
    e. Suppliers of cooking gas are only allowed to provide delivery service only for emergency services (including for private use).

Essential staff of the businesses mentioned above must be in the ossession of a valid disaster pass. In absence of a disaster pass, the manager of the entity may request a waiver from the Chief of Police, Carl John by means of a letter drafted by the business, requesting permission, which will be stamped and signed by KPSM.

Government of St. Maarten

Medical equipment and medicines on their way to Sint Maarten
Saturday, April 4: French side reports five new cases of COVID-19 and two more patients recovered