Schools in St. Barthélemy and St. Martin to definitely close

   Schools in St. Barthélemy and  St. Martin to definitely close

 Cité Scolaire in La Savane

MARIGOT—Kindergarten schools, collèges and lycées in St. Martin and St. Barths will close on Monday, March 16, until further notice, this following the video conference held Sunday morning, and contrary to the decision taken Saturday for schools to remain open.

  In the last few hours, Président of the Républic Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe have announced unprecedented measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. These measures continue to evolve from day to day, the Préfecture indicated.

  The Sunday morning video conference chaired by Minister of Overseas Territories Annick Girardin brought together representatives from the Overseas Ministry, the Directorate General for Overseas France, the Prime Minister's Office and Préfets of the overseas territories.

  The three territories whose schools were to remain open according to the principle of differentiation; St. Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte, St. Barthélemy and St. Martin, were asked to close their schools. Nursery schools, primary schools, middle schools and high schools in St. Barthélemy and St. Martin will therefore be closed from Monday, March 16, until further notice.

  The schools are mobilized, however, to ensure administrative continuity. Particular attention will be paid to taking care of children of those persons who are essential to the management of the health crisis.

  The Préfecture will communicate on other measures to be implemented for the overseas territories in the coming days, in particular concerning the method of application in the overseas territories after the decree of March 14.

  The Préfecture emphasises that the coronavirus is not circulating in St. Martin or St. Barths. The situation in St. Martin remains the same; one patient cured and one patient who had a negative test is awaiting a second test result.

  In St. Barths, the first case has been declared cured, however there are two new cases confirmed, not related to the first case. They arrived after vacation having contracted the virus on a cruise ship and are currently in quarantine in St. Barths.

  The precautionary measures to prevent spreading the virus are:  wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow, use disposable tissues, greet persons without shaking hands, hugging or kissing, call hot line 15 if you suspect you have symptoms and stay at home. Wear a mask if you are sick.