PHILIPSBURG–The Council of Ministers decided today, Tuesday, to postpone all commercial flights to and from the United States (US) for the next two weeks.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever said on Tuesday afternoon that government made this decision primarily because of the surging number of coronavirus cases in the US since last Friday.
She also said there was a risk of St. Maarten’s internal border being closed, as French side officials “strongly suggested” they would close the border to the Dutch side if flights from the US were permitted to land at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).
It is likely the French side’s stance was influenced by the decision of the European Union (EU) to keep its borders to the US closed.
Earlier on Tuesday, the EU announced the 14 countries on its “safe travel list” from which they will allow non-essential travel to the EU as of July. The US, Russia and Brazil are among the most notable of absences from this list. The “safe” countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, said the European Council.
De Weever said government is working on a repatriation flight for residents who had expected to travel home in this two-week period.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/airport-opening-to-us-postponed-for-2-weeks