Préfecture of St. Martin and St. Barths. (Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT--Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher stated on Wednesday that given the proximity of the tourist season and the current health situation, St. Martin will not be subjected to any new measures or restrictions for the time being in the wake of President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement of a second lockdown for the entire national territory.
Préfets in the overseas territories were allowed to adjust the President of the Republic’s measures to suit local situations.
However, measures previously implemented in St. Martin are still in force: bars and restaurants are to close at midnight, gatherings of groups of more than six people are forbidden on the public highway; gatherings of more than six people in establishments open to the public must be declared to the Préfecture; masks must be worn in all establishments open to the public and on the busiest streets; establishments receiving the public must enforce the two-metre distance per person rule; restaurants may continue to receive customers without exceeding the number of six people per table; the wearing of masks is compulsory for staff and customers circulating; and all customers must be seated.
St. Martin and St. Barths have had 566 and 83 confirmed cases, respectively, since the beginning of March, and 10 people have died. In the week October 19-25, 25 additional cases were recorded in St. Martin and six in St. Barths.
The incidence rate (number of COVID-19-positive persons per 100,000 inhabitants) and positivity rate (number of COVID-19-positive persons out of the number of tests carried out in one week) have decreased compared to previous weeks, but for St. Martin are still above the alert threshold.
Two people are currently hospitalised at Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital Centre and medical evacuations take place every week to the hospitals in Guadeloupe and Martinique. More than ever, efforts must be continued.
“The whole population is invited to avoid private events and be aware that bad individual behaviour impacts negatively the economic future of the island,” the Préfecture said in its release. “The permanent objective pursued by the Préfecture since the beginning of the crisis is control of the epidemic, the success of the tourist season and the revival of the local economy. Without a strong and united involvement of each and every one of us, the virus will continue to circulate and develop.
“In spite of repeated calls for individual responsibility from the Préfecture and the health authorities, parties were organised on the island’s beaches last weekend. Some establishments continue not to respect the rules followed by the majority; they are endangering the sanitary situation. This irresponsible behaviour must stop. Administrative procedures are underway to close the establishments concerned.
“Every citizen of St. Martin and St. Barthélemy has the responsibility and opportunity to contain the epidemic by continuing to adhere to barrier measures, wearing the mask and limiting their social circle. If the health situation degenerates due to individual behaviour, a lockdown measure will be implemented immediately,” concluded the Préfecture.