TEATT Minister Ludmila de Weever
~Accepting non-COVID-patients from sister islands~
PHILIPSBURG–In an effort to curb the further spread of coronavirus and given the numerous gatherings over the Easter weekend with lack of adherence to health and safety protocols, authorities have decided to scale back the opening hours of nightlife businesses from the current 4:00am to midnight.
This will go into effect as of Wednesday, April 14, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever announced during the live Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.
De Weever said this temporary measure will be in effect for two weeks. The measure is per next week and not immediately, in an effort to not make it an abrupt move and give businesses time to prepare and -among other things- reshuffle staff etc.
“It is unfortunate that we have to do this,” De Weever told reporters in announcing the decision. “I have been an advocate from day one for us to open our airport, to open our businesses, but we have to do so in a responsible manner. We cannot wait until we have an outbreak on this island. We have to be preventative.”
“We have to prepare as if something is going to happen and don’t forget that for the last several weeks, St. Maarten has been doing a fantastic job of our vaccination rollout. We do not have the resources to accommodate a massive outbreak of the UK variant [of COVID-19 Ed.] similar to what we have seen in our sister islands that is now causing us to come to their assistance because they are brothers and sisters. We need to be firm in our decision making and this is only temporary. This is an action that is necessary for us to keep our country safe.”
Additionally, government has also decided after several emergency meetings to assist the Curaçao and Aruba, by accepting their non COVID-19 patients in an effort for them to have bed space available to help these islands fight the spiraling pandemic currently taking place there.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/business-hours-back-to-12am-from-april-14