After deliberation in the Council of Ministers’ meeting on Friday, May 15, 2020, St Maarten Council made the decision that based on the efforts of the government to properly contain the virus, leading to a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases on the both sides, as well as the bonds that exist between the people, it is no longer necessary to maintain the border controls and restrictions of movement between the two sides.
As of today, Sunday, 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. The police force will be refocusing its energy on de-escalation measures, and on ensuring that safety and security is maintained during this process as businesses re-open in phase 2 on Monday morning.
Prime Minister Jacobs informed that the police force will continue to maintain the night curfew which will be from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM as of Monday evening.
“Just as before the ‘State of Emergency,’ the Dutch side of the island will no longer require waivers. As one small 37 square mile island, we have tried our utmost to synchronize measures with our northern counterparts to protect the population from the spread of this virus, at times causing some stress to our citizens with family and economic ties on both sides. We see no need for this any longer as the COVID-19 cases are well under control, and it is time to normalize even further. As our businesses reopen, more persons will need to access their business, or place of work, making this extra task unreasonable,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.
Collective Prevention Services (CPS) community outreach testing campaign will continue this weekend and next weekend, however, during the week, normal movement is allowed to allow persons the opportunity to earn a living and get our economy restarted while upholding the guidelines for safety of employees and clients.