PHILIPSBURG–Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Chairperson Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on Monday evening sought to give clarity on the documents persons need to carry when being on the road in light of the restrictions in place to help combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
Blank copies of the documents are available for free at the Government Building on Pond Island for persons who are unable to print the documents online.
Jacobs said that in discussions with French St. Martin, it had been brought to the Dutch side’s attention that a more coordinated approach was needed to control movement on the respective sides of the island as well as across borders.
“Our police departments have been collaborating since Friday in carrying out controls at the borders to ensure that persons with their documentation could be able to traverse safely,” she said in a national address broadcast via social media.
“As we did not have such on the Dutch side, it was decided that in an effort to have coordination synchronised, we would ensure that our population also had ‘Professional Travel Proof’, which is called Form A; a ‘Personal Travel Waiver’, which is called Form B; and Form C, which is a ‘Certificate of Exception’, to be able to travel for work from the Dutch to the French side and vice versa.”
She explained that persons who at this moment are allowed to work in essential services should carry a Professional Travel Proof as of March 30. This is available on the government website page
“You are allowed to fill in the form for travel to work for a maximum of one week. You should carry this travel document with you whenever you are traveling to and from work during the week, as we are trying to limit the number of persons who are traveling,” she explained.
For every other movement within the country’s borders, persons should carry Form B – a Personal Travel Waiver.
“By filling in this document, you are declaring that you’re either making a trip for essential services, for essential family reasons, to assist the vulnerable, for child-care, for making a short trip close to your home for physical activity such as exercise or to be able to walk your domestic animals. If you are deviating from your work-to-home route you should have your Personal Travel Waiver. This document will have to be changed per day.”
The Certificate of Exception – Form C – is in French and English, as it has to be read by both authorities. “This authorises you, as a Dutch resident, to go to the French side to be able to work, vice versa or for urgent medical reasons with supporting documents. I’m hoping through this short elucidation that the general public of St. Maarten understands what the three forms as have been published on our website, mean.”
Stakeholders that are allowed to be open, have been asked to provide copies of these forms at their locations. Persons unable to print the documents can pick up blank copies in front of the Government Building.
“I hope this clarifies that we are trying our best to restrict movement, as that is one of the best ways in which we can mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Jacobs said.