Persons arriving on repatriation flight are exempted from taking PCR test | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek says that repatriated residents of St. Maarten will not be required to present a recent negative PCR test result when entering the country.

The repatriation flight has been arranged for July 18 with Spirit Airlines for students and residents to return to St. Maarten. This was done in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Relations DBB, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (ECYS), and the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT).

The flight will depart from Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and proceed to Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).According to Panneflek, all arriving passengers are required to fill in the health declaration form further stated that as per the requirements of the Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS), repatriated residents of St. Maarten are not required to present a PCR test result for entry into the country.

However, these persons have to agree to quarantine for 14 days at their place of residence.Panneflek said this was an exception made especially for the residents and students who are being repatriated to St. Maarten. On arrival all incoming passengers will receive guidelines on self-quarantine.CPS will monitor all persons who will arrive on the flight. Each person will be required to report to CPS on a daily basis and self-monitor themselves for any symptoms.

Panneflek further urged all persons who have been granted the opportunity to return to the country on this repatriation flight to adhere the guidelines set by the government for self-quarantine.He assured the public that the measures set by government have been put in place to protect the citizens of St. Maarten and, by extension, their close family and friends.Any persons returning on the flight who do not wish to go into the required quarantine period are expected to present a valid negative PCR COVID-19 lab test result completed within the 72 hours prior to arrival.

A copy of this result must be present to Immigration on arrival.Panneflek said it was important to note that the persons returning on the repatriation flight have been trying to return for months.“Some [persons – Ed.] are in dire situations and therefore we are asking the community to share some compassion and understanding when questioning the government’s decision to allow this flight from the US [United States] to St. Maarten,” he added.

“The Ministry of VSA remains committed to protecting the community’s well-being during this health pandemic and will continue to ensure our protocols are geared towards preventing the spread of COVID-19 on our island,”

Source: The Daily Herald