SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) – The Prefecture of Saint-Martin and St. Barths and the Public Health Agency ARS responded to the request for an audience from the organizers of the “open the border” march that was held on Wednesday.
According to a press statement from the Prefecture, the ARS has taken stock of the current health problems in Saint-Martin, of the number of cases, the worrying indicators in particular in terms of near-saturated hospital capacity (18 beds occupied out of 23 in the COVID-19 unit and an additional death yesterday (Tuesday) at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, and 100% of the occupancy rate in resuscitation unit at the Guadeloupe University Hospital).
The members of the Collectivite did not hear these arguments but pledged to contribute to the establishment of a health education program for the neighbourhoods promoting public health preventative measures (wearing masks, gathering of people, social distancing, etc.).
While the regulation of population flows between the two parts of the island has been shown to significantly reduce the circulation of the virus, the risks of disturbances to the public order in a period of the public health crisis are not acceptable to the population or to law enforcement authorities who have been in high demand for months.
As a result, and as announced at a press conference on Monday, the Prefecture of Guadeloupe is studying the limitation of air-transportation into the Grand Case Airport which is expected to take place in the coming days (decrease in the number of flights and conditioning the purpose of travel for compelling reasons).
In view of the risk of disturbances to the public order, the Prefecture decided to lift border controls. The removal of the containers at Terres Basses (Cupecoy) and Oyster Bay will be carried out tomorrow (Thursday). The health risk remains present on both parts of the island and the Prefecture urges everyone to comply with barrier measures to prevent COVID-19 spread.