PHILIPSBURG: --- The Council of Ministers have called on all business owners to respect the health protocols in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus or face a fine of NAF5,000.00 the statements came after the head of the Collective Preventive Services (CPS) made their advice known to government regarding the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs announced that CPS has been hinting that there are clusters and a spread of the virus in various sectors and as such stricter measures may have to be implemented.
Jacobs said if the spread continues the government will gave to take the decision to implement stricter measures and face and a possible shut down on the already crippled economy. Jacobs said the government has been doing everything possible to avoid a lockdown or even a curfew. She said CPS has been burdened due to the increase of the spread of the virus and they have given the Council of Minister's various advice that is being considered.
The Prime Minister pleaded with the people of St. Maarten to act responsibly during the Christmas Holidays and to limit large gatherings. She further explained that so far there are daily increases in the virus and if the need arises the government of St. Maarten will escalate the measures slowly just as they de-escalated after the shutdown earlier this year.
Minister of TEATT Ludmilla de Weever said that St. Maarten cannot afford to lock down the country at this moment because the government cannot continue with the SSRP, while businesses are suffering economically. The Minister of Economic Affairs said that the St. Maarten economy took a real hit since the pandemic in March 2020. De Weever made clear that businesses that violate the protocols in place then they can face a fine of as much as NAF, 5,000.00, and possible shut down during the holiday season.