Best general interest

Best general interest

A new curfew imposed on the French side (see related story) is understandable considering the current number of COVID-19 infections in the Collectivité. There will be no border closure, but persons moving around on the northern half of the island between 8:00pm and 6:00am are going to need an exemption from the Préfecture.

Although perhaps inconvenient for some, containing the now-prevalent more-contagious British variant of COVID-19 is essential, from a healthcare risk perspective but also to restore the hard-hit tourism economy. The international travel industry expects an active summer because of pent-up vacationing demand and the destination must benefit to finally get back some badly-needed business.

The curfew that goes into effect Sunday in principle ends after 10 days. St. Maarten’s 11:00pm nightlife closure was proclaimed “until further notice” but should be relaxed again around the time cruise homeporting starts on June 5.

Several new flights and expansion of existing routes are in the works as well, so hopefully the local situation will improve by then. The latter is exactly what these temporary restrictions are intended to help achieve.

Nevertheless, higher vaccination rates remain crucial for a successful return to relative normalcy also in terms of earnings and jobs in the dominant hospitality industry. No matter how one looks at it, that would be in the best general interest.