PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs met with Préfète Déléguée of St. Barths and St. Martin Sylvie Feucher on Monday as part of their weekly COVID-19 consultations.
Jacobs was informed about the latest COVID-19 preparedness and response actions taking place in French St. Martin and Feucher received an update about Dutch St. Maarten’s preparedness, response and mitigation measures.
“The cooperation of working together to synchronise our island’s fight against the coronavirus disease COVID-19 has been an ongoing effort since it was declared by the World Health Organization as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
“This cooperation continues on a daily basis as part of our joint preparedness, response and mitigation measures where various entities exchange information on on-going developments, and this is essential in preventing community transmission on the island,” Jacobs said in a press release Wednesday night
“As Prime Minister, I would like to assure the general public that the governments of both sides of the island have taken measures to protect public health and safety, and will continue to work together to get through this global crisis.”
Feucher said the French side is still in a position with local resources to deal with COVID-19, and the tracing of persons is being carried out when necessary. Both the she and Jacobs agreed to maintain open communication where it concerns the confirmation of new COVID-19-positive cases.
Both governments will work towards establishing a protocol of cooperation that would lead to a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The St Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication would also be included when formulating the MOU.
Representatives of the police forces of St. Maarten and St. Martin will be meeting to discuss current COVID-19 procedures that have been implemented.
The Republic of France is at Level 3 (the highest level), but St. Martin is at Level 2. The current measures will continue to be evaluated and adjusted as needed.
Restrictions in French St. Martin will continue for two weeks. Regarding air travel, restricted charter flights are allowed as well as cargo.
Air Antilles airline is providing limited essential air travel service between St. Martin (Grand Case), St. Barths and Guadeloupe for urgent health related matters (dialysis, urgent surgeries, chemotherapy treatment) for which an essential family member can accompany the patient, and professional travel for crisis management officials.
A similar arrangement is in place with Winair with respect to limited services between St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius and Curaçao (emergency medical evacuations, health professionals and technical assistants).