MARIGOT—The Préfecture announced Wednesday the resurgence of new COVID-19 cases on both sides of the island warrants travel restrictions to be put in place as of July 31 at 12:00 noon.
Since the health bulletin of July 24, one new case has been detected in Saint- Barthélemy, bringing the number of cases to two, and four new cases in St. Martin bringing the number of cases to seven.
In Saint Barthélemy, the new positive case is linked to a cluster of people from Guadeloupe who stayed in St. Martin and frequented St. Maarten night spots.
In St. Martin one case is still under investigation; one patient is hospitalised in Sint Maarten and three positive contact cases are linked to it. One case is a contact of locally-transmitted case, and a case was imported from the Dominican Republic on a repatriation flight from the United States that arrived at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).
The government of St. Maarten announced Wednesday that it had now counted 45 positive cases.
This active circulation of the virus is thought to have caused the contamination of six people from Guadeloupe who had stayed on the island and created a cluster which is still under investigation in Guadeloupe.
Due to the increase in the number of cases and the limited health capacities, the Préfecture and regional health authority ARS, after discussions with the Collectivité of St. Martin and in agreement with the Ministry of Overseas France, have decided to introduce a traffic restriction between the two parts of the island as of Friday, July 31, at 12:00 noon.
The Prfete discussed this decision this morning with the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Silveria Jacobs.
Checks will be carried out at the Bellevue roundabout and at Belle Plaine by the Border Police (PAF) and the National Gendarmerie. The border points at Cupecoy and Baie aux Huîtres (Oyster Pond) will be blocked from that date.
Authorised travellers coming from PJIA (from mainland France, the Schengen area or from the list of safe countries) will be allowed to pass through the border by presenting their plane ticket, their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test of less than 72 hours with a negative result and the certificate on their honour given by the company or available on the Préfecture's website: (http://www.saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr/Actualites/LA-UNE/Actualites/Fin-de-l-etat-d- urgence-sanitaire-nouvelles-modalites-d-entree-a-Saint-Martin-partie-francaise-Saint-Barthelemy-a-partir-du- 18-juillet-2020).
“These restrictive measures are essential to limit the circulation of the virus and avoid reaching the capacity limits of our health system”, the Prefecture stated. “They are put in place temporarily to control the circulation of the virus on the island. The health of the population is the only argument that guides our decisions.”