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LU refusing to comply with Government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

lusaga12082020PHILIPSBURG:--- Management of Learning Unlimited has refused to follow the guidelines set down by the government when it comes to distance learning.
On Tuesday the Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek and Minister of Education Rodolphe Samuel sent a letter to Learning Unlimited and Caribbean International Academy advising them that they too have to follow the restrictions set down by government even though they are a private institution. Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases, a commotion broke out at the Learning Unlimited on Wednesday morning while Police and the Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek were on site trying to get management of the school to comply with the restrictions laid down by the government and to proceed by distant learning.
Minister of TEATT Ludmilla de Weever said she also intervened and spoke to management of LU but hoped to continue that discussion later today.
Information circulating on St. Maarten states that a 13-year-old has been hospitalized with COVID-19 effects, asked about that at the Council of Minister's press conference the Minister of Education Rodolphe Samuel said there have been rumors but he does not have any information on the case. In the meantime, Deputy Prime Minister Jurendy Doran said he could not comment on such sensitive matter on the press conference platform.
SMN News will continue to monitor the situation at these private institutions and update it later today.

Government working on MB to close nightlife businesses as COVID-19 numbers increase.

ludmilladeweever17052020PHILIPSBURG:--- The government of St. Maarten is busy working on amending its Ministerial Decree which would instruct businesses that cater to nightlife to close at nights.
Minister of TEATT Ludmilla de Weever, said businesses such as cigar lounges, casinos, bars' and nightclubs must close at nights until the curve on COVID-19 is flatten. De Weever said based on the information received on the clusters these businesses have been identified.
The Minister of Economic Affairs said that the amount of people that have been infected with the COVID-19 virus is alarming.
Up to August 11th St. Maarten register 100 active cases which according to government the virus is among the local community and not among visitors to the island.
De Weever clarified that her Ministry is not playing any sort of blame game but the data government has shows that residents have been gathering in a certain closed environment and when doing so measures such as wearing masks are not being followed.

Travelers from Curaçao, Bonaire must now quarantine.

SABA:--- Leisure travel from Curaçao and Bonaire to Saba is no longer possible. Persons arriving from these two islands must now go into mandatory quarantine, except ZVK patients.
Island Governor Jonathan Johnson announced this during a COVID-19 update on Tuesday, August 11. The decision was taken considering the increase in COVID-19 cases on other islands, in particular Aruba, and the fact that Curaçao and Bonaire had their borders open to Aruba in the past weeks.
Therefore, the risk profile of Curaçao and Bonaire has changed from low to medium. This means that
that leisure travel from these islands is no longer allowed. Also, essential travelers entering Saba from Curaçao and Bonaire must adhere to the 14-day mandatory quarantine. Quarantine is not required for patients returning Bonaire and Curaçao, if they have travelled under the strict protocol of the Caribbean Netherlands Health Insurance Office ZVK.
Any incoming travelers from high-risk countries, such as the United States and Sint Maarten, are required to go to a central quarantine location. The traveler is responsible for organizing the purchase and delivery of groceries to this location, as well as paying for the costs of staying in this central quarantine location.
“Travel during this time is very uncertain, which results in frequently changing travel policies and measures. We therefore advise persons wishing to travel off-island for non-essential purposes to take this into consideration. The organization of return travel, as well as any additional costs which may occur, will be a responsibility of the person in question,” stated Johnson.
Under Saba’s travel policy only essential travel, medical travel, students and returning residents may enter the island. Persons must request permission for entry before traveling and send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If the request is approved, the person will receive a travel exemption letter which is needed for traveling. The letter outlines the conditions that must be followed. Persons without a letter will not be permitted to enter the island. Persons from medium and high-risk countries must have a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter the island. Saba does not allow leisure visitors.
Saba is remains at alert level 2. This will remain for an additional two weeks, if no further developments occur. Since last week, Saba has two active cases of COVID-19. These persons are in isolation. Nineteen persons are in quarantine.

Continuation Ad Hoc Committee Integrity (AHCI) about discussion on topics proposed in connection with setting the parameters and work method for the Permanent Committee Integrity.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ad Hoc Committee Integrity (AHCI) of Parliament, will meet on August 12, 2020.
The AHCI meeting is a continuation of the meeting which was scheduled for August 7, 2020 but was postponed until further notice. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 11.00 hrs., and will be held in a virtual setting.

The agenda point is:
Update discussion on topics proposed in connection with setting the parameters and work method for the Permanent Committee Integrity

Due to measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), the House of Parliament is only allowing persons with an appointment to enter the Parliament building.

The parliamentary session will be held virtually and will be carried out live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, via the internet, and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

ECLAC meeting discusses data protection, privacy rights, and e-government in the Caribbean.

Countries across the Caribbean are preparing to adopt or strengthen their data protection legislation in order to guarantee individual privacy rights and safeguard personal data, while creating an enabling environment for data sharing and e-government in the subregion.

The benefits of implementing internationally aligned data protection and sharing legislation were discussed during a virtual expert group meeting (EGM) convened by ECLAC Caribbean on 15 July 2020. The EGM was based on an upcoming study that reviews the data protection legislation of select Caribbean countries to assess the extent to which these laws are aligned with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as international best practice in the area of data sharing.

The study, entitled `Creating an enabling environment for e-government in the Caribbean: A review of data protection and sharing legislation for alignment with the GDPR’, will make targeted recommendations for revision of existing legislation or adoption of new legislation in order to bring it into compliance with regional and international standards and protect the right to privacy in light of technological developments that have increased government surveillance capabilities and enabled private organisations to conduct targeted advertising and profiling.

Addressing the participants, ECLAC Caribbean Director, Diane Quarless, stated that providing a level of data protection for personal data essentially equivalent to that provided for in the GDPR can ensure a continuous flow of information to and from the Caribbean with significant economic value for countries in the subregion.

“Global e-commerce offers new opportunities for Caribbean organisations to operate in international markets. Since organisations processing the personal data of EU citizens outside the EU are also liable for fines under the GDPR, aligning national regimes with the GDPR will also reduce the risk of financial penalties for Caribbean organisations”, she asserted.

Among other things, ECLAC’s study will also make recommendations on facilitating cross-border transfers of data, incentivising public and private sector information sharing, balancing freedom of expression with privacy rights, and enabling the effective enforcement of data protection laws through adequate resourcing of and cooperation between supervisory authorities.

Representatives of government ministries, departments and supervisory authorities responsible for data protection, information sharing and e-government from participating Caribbean countries, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands and Jamaica participated, along with representatives of Caribbean and European Union organisations with data protection and e-government mandates, and legal professionals with regional data protection expertise.

More on this will be available when the study is published in the next couple of months.


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