COM to decide on border closure to ABC islands

COM to decide on border   closure to ABC islands

PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten's Council of Ministers is currently deliberating closing the country's borders to Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire as of Monday, April 5, because of the exploding number of COVID-19 cases on the these three islands. 

  The Council of Ministers have reportedly shown up to work today, Friday - a public holiday - for an urgent meeting to decide on the border closure. 

  Collective Prevention Services (CPS) head Eva Lista-de weever recommended the border closures in a letter to Minister of Public Health, Social Development

and Labor VSA Richard Panneflek on March 26.

  "Considering the regional epidemiology and consequent likelihood of imported cases from highly 

concentrated pools of the UK variant (B.1.1.7), together with the absence of systematic nationwide 

genetic surveillance on St. Maarten, CPS recommends temporary border closures to Aruba, Bonaire 

and Curaçao, effective immediately. CPS would review the situation on each island on a 2-weekly 

basis.

  "Returning residents from Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba will be required to hold a negative 72-hour PCR 

test. It is advised that these residents be retested 48 hours after arrival," wrote Lista-de Weever in the letter.

  Approximately 75 per cent of Curaçao's new cases are caused by the UK variant, Lista-de Weever said.