The extension of St. Maarten’s 11:00pm business closure until further notice (see related story) is obviously yet another blow to the nightlife sector. On the other hand, recent figures do not indicate that the local COVID-19 picture has improved significantly, so this decision was not unexpected.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley pointed out the importance of having the COVID-19 situation under control before the upcoming tourism season that looks promising. As stated before, this winter will be a make-or-break-it one for much of the dominant hospitality industry and any new major wave of infections could be nothing short of disastrous in socio-economic terms.
This message is essential, because after 18 months residents as well as businesses are getting tired of the restrictions. Inspectors in Curaçao, where the measures are even more far-reaching, even say the population is becoming downright disobedient.
Many inhabitants complain that they took the vaccine as told yet are in a sense still being held hostage basically due to the negligence of others. That remains the reality and although perhaps unfair, it is what everyone must live with for now.