St Maarten increases travel restrictions from 14 to 21 days
The Government of St Maarten has increased travel restrictions in an attempt to delay what is being categorised as the inevitable arrival of the coronavirus to its shores.
Passengers and airline crew who have visited China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macao or Singapore within the last 21 days will not be allowed to enter or use St Maarten as a transit hub.
In a statement issued by the Department of Communication late on Wednesday, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said the Emergency Operations Centre will meet with Members of Parliament today to discuss and subsequently implement necessary amendments to their national coronavirus response plan.
Now that the virus has been categorised as a pandemic, PM Jacobs said it is critical for every country to speed up their response and containment measures and be prepared to take all measures necessary to protect public health.
She said the business community will soon have to join the government in looking for ways to have employees work from home to mitigate the possible spread of the virus.
The Prime Minister said self-isolation is the best way to contain the virus. She urged those who exhibit flu-like symptoms to quarantine themselves at home for a period of 14 days during which time their physician will determine if the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) should be contacted.
To date there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus in Dutch St Maarten.
PM Silveria said there is no reason to panic.
She appealed to nationals to stay calm and take preventative measures which are being promoted by the Ministry of Public Health.
She urged citizens to adhere to the no touch rule to protect themselves and others.
The Prime Minister also gave the assurance that the government is working diligently to increase capacity within the public health sector.