SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA) Richard Panneflek said on Monday evening in a statement that discussions were held with key stakeholders involved in Saturday’s repatriation flight from Ft. Lauderdale.
The statement continues: “Saturday’s flight provided the opportunity for a dry run of the reopening protocols that are being implemented. For many countries, including St. Maarten, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a challenge. Handling this pandemic has called for not only a renewed focus on Public Health but also on measures to ensure safe travel.
“Today’s collaborative knowledge-sharing and solution-finding meeting focused on evaluating Saturday’s dry run, in order to strengthen the process and make the necessary improvements. This fruitful meeting evaluated the operational procedures and facilities for accommodating RT- PCR testing at the airport for incoming passengers, and other important areas related to the arrival of passengers.
“St. Maarten continues to ensure that all residents stranded abroad can return home safely. Today 21 persons were repatriated from the Dominican Republic. As a precautionary measure, all persons were PCR tested at the airport and signed consent forms agreeing to remain in quarantine for 14 days.
“The Minister of VSA would like to emphasize that passengers arriving on this flight MUST remain in quarantine for 14 days, given that these persons arrived from a high-risk country and the incubation period ranges from 2-14 days.
“These persons are advised to stay in a specific room and away from other people living in the same home. If these persons or family members develop symptoms, they are advised to contact their family physician for further instructions.
“The Minister is expecting to receive the test results this evening or at latest tomorrow morning and urges the returning residents to adhere to the quarantine measures in order to protect the general population, and by extension their loved ones.
“Once again, Minister Richard Panneflek would like to thank all the assisting staff at PJIA, especially the Immigration Department, all medical personnel, the laboratory institution and everyone else who assisted directly or indirectly today and on Saturday July 18th.”