~ MOI signed with business owners, new protocols for nightclubs, casinos, and other nightlife.~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Businesses will start closing their doors as of 11 pm as of Monday, August 9th, 2021, due to the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases announced Minister of VSA Omar Ottley.
Ottley held a meeting on Thursday with the owners of nightlife, clubs, business owners, beach bar owners, directors, and managers, where a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) was signed.
Parties agreed that they will scale back their opening hours for a period of two weeks, during which time arrangements can be made to put in place a health management system via an application or QR codes.
After the two-week period parties agree that in order to operate in full capacity they must check their client's health situation to establish if they are fully vaccinated or non-vaccinated.
Those that are non vaccinated must present a valid PCR test that is not older than 72 hours or an antigen test not older than 24 hours.
Establishments are allowed maximum capacity if their clientele is 100% vaccinated or 75% of the clientele are vaccinated and 25% present the negative PCR or Antigen tests.
Ottley said it was imperative that precise protocols are put in place for all businesses to abide by and those businesses that do not fully comply will face the fullest extent of the law.
The Minister said that the business owners agreed that urgent and necessary actions have to be taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus especially the Delta variant that has now been dominant on St. Maarten and St. Martin
On Friday evening it has been announced by CPS that there are 187 active cases, while 2,703 persons have recovered. 34 persons lost their lives while St. Maarten registered 2,924 cases since March 2020.
The Minister of VSA who has been very active since taking office as he promotes the vaccination campaign urged everyone to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves or those around them. He said persons that are against taking the vaccines will have to get tested on a regular basis.
Ottley said the hospitals on St. Maarten and St. Martin are filled to capacity and soon enough St. Maarten Medical Center will have to turn away people that are infected even if they are critical. He said the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital is already filled to its capacity while Guadeloupe and Martinique are not able to take any more patients from Saint Martin.