Coronavirus spike leads to early closure of businesses

Coronavirus spike leads to  early closure of businesses

PHILIPSBURG--In light of the recent rapid increase in the number of infections with the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA has decided to bring forward the closing times of publicly accessible locations to 11:00pm, starting from Sunday, May 23.

 According to the ministerial decision, which was issued on Friday, May 21, bars, night clubs, dancings, restaurants, hotel bars and venues for meetings, events and parties, are prohibited to open between 11:00pm and 6:00am.

  The prohibition does not apply to hotels and lodgings, as far as their own guests and staff are concerned and the grounds and buildings of the airport and seaport.

   The early closure of nightlife businesses was ordered in light of the recent sharp increase in the number of infections with the coronavirus.

 The number of active cases rose in a short period of time from 15 active cases on April 28, 2021, to 49 cases on May 18, 2021, with a rapid increase to 82 active cases on May 21, 2021, the VSA Ministry stated Friday.

  To control the number of infections and to prevent a further increase, it was considered desirable in the interests of business activity and the economy of St. Maarten to bring forward the closing times to 11:00 pm.

  “Targeted intervention in the event of a rapid increase in the number of active cases is important, Also, in view of the prevention of a possible third wave, it is necessary to take appropriate measures,” the VSA ministry said.

  In addition, a negative change in the international ranking in order to be able to travel to St. Maarten must be prevented.

  Depending on the COVID-19 developments, the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) can make a decision to deviate from the closing times mentioned in these regulations.