Our proverbial luck

Our proverbial luck

St. Maarten’s announced admittance rules (see related story) seem an appropriate response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 that is rapidly advancing on a global level. Because the mutant virus is highly contagious, even fully vaccinated travellers must soon choose between a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 48 or antigen test within 24 hours before departure, while unvaccinated people require the former. However, vaccinated adults who also had the booster shot can still enter without testing

By not letting these changes go into effect until January 1, one could argue that Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Omar Ottley is taking a gamble during the Christmas holidays. Then again, the present policy appears to have worked well so far.

Besides, stakeholders need time to adjust to this new situation. It’s the height of the tourism season and ensuring a smooth processing of thousands of passengers on any given day is crucial at the already congested makeshift temporary airport and cruise harbour facilities especially during peak hours.

The sharpened entry measures seem rather moderate compared to those of, for example, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, which is perhaps understandable considering current infection numbers there.

While St. Maarten has been relatively fortunate up to now, caution remains the order of the day so as not to push our proverbial luck.

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