SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – On March 16, 2020, the Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs, along with key ESF coordinators held a meeting with the Prefet of Saint Martin and St. Barths Sylvie Feucher, President Daniel Gibbs, 1st Vice-President Valerie Damaseau and 4th Vice-President Franklin Patrick.
“The meeting was held to ensure that both governments are updated on the actions being taken by the other. These measures are being taken to guarantee that our internal borders can remain open and the safety and security of our people remains a top priority.
“After the meeting with our northern counterparts, an emergency meeting was held with the full EOC. In this meeting, the EOC deliberated and drew the conclusion that stakeholder consultations needed to take place before more far-reaching decisions could be made.
“ESF coordinators will provide advice on school closures and other relevant restrictions to Prime Minister Jacobs tomorrow. The announcement will be made via the media to the general public on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
“During the meeting, it was brought to the attention of the EOC that several residents including students currently in the Netherlands are experiencing some challenges to board the empty flights to return home to repatriate Dutch nationals. Prime Minister Jacobs contacted the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK) to facilitate KLM allowing St. Maarten’s residents to repatriate.
“Students in the Netherlands, who are not written in on St. Maarten, may not be able to travel back home during this period as they do not fall under the exceptions of the travel restrictions posted on Saturday, March 14, 2020, which will go into effect as of 11:59 PM on Monday, March 16, 2020.
“While it was the intention for residents to be allowed entry to St. Maarten, KLM has limited that possibility. BZK is doing its best to facilitate the return of residents to the Dutch Caribbean who are trying to return home,” the Prime Minister /EOC Chairlady said in a statement on Monday after the EOC meeting.