Gendarmes controlling motorists at the Cole Bay border Monday evening. (Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT–As announced on Sunday, the Préfecture of French St. Martin and the government of Dutch St. Maarten have agreed to tighten restrictions on travel between the two sides of the island until April 15, to stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 and save lives. Containment measures have been implemented since March 23.
Unfortunately, the Préfecture said, there are still too many people who do not follow the instructions and are potentially allowing the disease to spread. On Sunday the Préfecture in conjunction with the government of St. Maarten issued a decree to limit travel between the two sides of the island.
Travel is only permitted for going to the workplace if working at home is not possible, and for urgent medical reasons. Cross-border workers must be in possession of their proof of business travel, stamped and signed by their employer, as well as their travel waiver. These documents are downloadable on the Préfecture’s website and Facebook page.
The transport of goods remains authorised to circulate between the French and Dutch sides.
Reinforced controls have been put in place by the Gendarmerie and St. Maarten Police Force KPSM at the borders. Failure to present the documents justifying a journey will be punished by a fine. Repeated offences may result in a heavy fine and police custody.