Lotus (file photo)
~ 11:00pm closure until October ~
PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley, in providing further clarity, says he did not give permission for a nightclub to be opened past 11:00pm. The minister addressed the ongoing topic on Wednesday at the live Council of Ministers press briefing.
During the press briefing the minister showed his phone to the cameras as proof of conversations that took place between himself and the owner of the nightclub, Lotus, on Friday.
Ottley explained that in his messages to the club owner he informed him the event can take place, however, not past the 11:00pm closing time. The minister said he also spoke to the Inspectorate of VSA, the secretary general (SG) of VSA and the Police of St. Maarten KPSM regarding this event.
Ottley said he was told by the nightclub owner that the venue would not be rented out, but rather opened to the public. The minister said he reminded the owner to remember capacity limitations and ensured that the owner reviewed the COVID-19 guidelines provided. He noted that out of a capacity of 500 persons, about 100 persons were in the nightclub that night.
Ottley shared that he was invited to attend this event by the owner, to which he obliged. According to the minister, he arrived after 10:00pm. Later, after being informed by his assistant that the 11:00pm time had arrived, Ottley said that he left. “I had no confrontation with the police ... that is a blatant lie,” he added in denouncing any previous reports that this occurred.
In closing, the minister said that the current 11:00pm closure for all nightlife, clubs, restaurants etc. will remain until October.