Ottley to relax mask mandate

Ottley to relax  mask mandate

~ Advising removal of 3:00am business closure ~


PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley says that as of March 15, he will relax the mask mandate on St. Maarten.

  “St. Maarten has recorded a one per cent infectious rate over the last week, which is significantly lower than the WHO’s [World Health Organization’s – Ed.] recommended threshold of a five per cent infectious rate,” the minister noted in a press release on Thursday.

  Ottley stated that this puts St. Maarten in the low-risk category. Therefore, he has made the decision to relax the mask mandate from Code Red to Code Green.

  The minister also stated that given the country’s current status, he would advise the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) that the 3:00am business closure can be lifted. Everyone is still advised to proceed with caution and isolate immediately if experiencing flu-like symptoms, or if tested positive for COVID-19.

  “This is another step towards our normalcy strategy, as we prepare to move on with our lives during the endemic phase of COVID-19,” said Ottley. Establishments will still reserve the right to request a mask to enter their premises, but there will be no penalties from government inspectors if no mask is worn in such establishments.

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