PHILIPSBURG–A Ministerial Regulation signed by Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever and Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek on Friday has mandated that bars, nightclubs, discotheques, restaurants, hotel bars and casinos, as well as conference, event and party halls close at midnight.
The new regulations were expected, as government last week hinted at imposing additional measures to mitigate the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 infections, which has thus far resulted in one death and 89 active cases as of press time Sunday.According to the regulation, these types of businesses must be closed from midnight to 6:00am daily. The prohibition excludes hotels and lodgings that only cater to their own guests and personnel. Casinos and conference, event and party halls can also be exempted “if it has been established that the risk of contamination can be managed.
”Businesses and/or persons violating the mandatory closure can face up to four months’ imprisonment and a fine up to NAf. 5,000.The regulation also mandates that businesses follow guidelines set by government in its economic reopening plan, such as social distancing, discouraging the use of cash, disinfecting customers’ hands when entering an establishment, and disinfecting surfaces frequently touched by staff and customers. These guidelines can be found by visiting www.sintmaartengov.org/government/AZ/laws/Pages/Official-Publications.aspx.
According to the regulation, customers must adhere to the guidelines when visiting a business, and businesses can ask persons not adhering to the guidelines to leave the premises immediately. Businesses can also refuse entry to a visibly ill person who is coughing, sneezing or has an elevated body temperature.
Employers must provide hand gels of at least 70 per cent alcohol content and give all employees sufficient protective equipment. Employers are also to train employees about the health requirements and guidelines.Employees with flu-like symptoms are not allowed to show up at work and, if they do, are to be sent home and advised to contact their doctor.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/bars-nightclubs-restaurants-must-now-close-at-midnight