SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Following decisions by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Sunday, March 22nd, 2020, I have been in close consultation with the Management of the Police Force and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, a press release from the Cabinet of the Minister of Justice stated on Wednesday.
“I hereby wish to announce, that the measures taken by the EOC will be strictly enforced according to the transaction list related to Corona/Covid-19 measures (which was previously published). The police instructions will include heightened visibility of the police at vital infrastructure, businesses and homes.
“If you are in the vicinity of these establishments or homes, you can be requested to identify yourself and be removed effective immediately. All persons must be in possession of identification. Non-compliance will lead to fines.
“Businesses that do not comply with the opening hours of the EOC will be closed, and clients will be instructed to leave immediately. A report will be made for the ministry of TEATT (Ed Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications) and the owner will be fined for non-compliance.
“No more than 20 persons are allowed in larger grocery stores and no more than 10 in smaller grocery stores. A distance of 1, 5 to 2 meters (4-6 feet) is to be maintained when waiting for service. Group gatherings are strictly prohibited.
“Group gatherings of more than 5 persons on the public road, in the vicinity of businesses (including restaurants, bars, gas stations, BBQ, etc.) and other places, is strictly prohibited and will be immediately dispersed.
“Non-compliance can lead to fines or arrest. It is also advised to avoid social gatherings at home. Beaches will remain open; however, no beach vending/ businesses are allowed to operate. Social gatherings of more than 5 people are strictly prohibited and will be immediately dispersed. Non-compliance can lead to fines or arrest. It is not the intention under given circumstances to use force. However, if and when necessary, the Police will not hesitate to apply the use of force to maintain public order and safety,” the release of the Cabinet of the Minister of Justice says.
Adjusted Justice Services in regards to Social distancing
The following departments of the Ministry of Justice will be operating on reduced staff capacity and will be handling only emergencies from the workplace as of Monday March 23rd2020 until April 6th, 2020.
KPSM, Sint Maarten Police Force:
- No walk-ins at the police station.
- For non-emergencies /and questions +1721 542 2222
- For filing reports: +1721 542 2222. Only emergencies or through appointments made via +1721 542 2222.
- Please have the following details at hand before calling the station, in order for us to provide efficient and effective service:
name, date of birth, place of birth, address, phone number, short summary of what took place).
- Border control following the COVID-19 protocol, will submit all passengers to a questionnaire, and will issue information regarding self-isolation measures.
- Appointments must be made for Immigration services, including reporting obligations via: +1721 542 2222 ext. 307.
- The number of call takers are increased in order to provide extra services. When calling, please give your correct telephone number, in the event that the police needs to follow up.
- Call 911 for emergencies only. Covid-19 protocols are in place for the dispatch center. Please comply with the dispatcher.
- Covid-19 protocols are in place for the patrols.
Please comply with the Covid-19 instructions given by the officers.
This can include a request to wear a mask and maintain distance for safety.
- 100% controls on goods from risk countries
- 100% controls on air passengers
- 100% controls on baggage
Court of Guardianship:
- No walk-ins, only open for emergencies or through appointments made via +1721 542 4110 or +1721 542 4115
- In case of emergencies, call +1721 520 6396
Probation Office and Family Guardianship office (SJIB):
- No walk-ins, only open for emergencies or through appointments made online or by telephone via +1721 526 4334
Public Prosecutor’s Office:
- No walk-ins
- Open every day from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with exception of Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Immigration office will be closed to the Public until further notice.
- Contact: telephone via +1721 542 6007
- No visitation allowed
- Video calling has been set up for family members and lawyers.
- Contact: telephone +1(721) 542-0691 or 542-3249 for more details and appointments
Health for Justice personnel:
Physically: The approach of all justice workers will entail physical distancing at least 1,5 to 2 meters (6 feet) to ensure the safety of all.
Mentally: For our justice first responders, there is no choice but to deal with all different emotions caused by this crisis.
This focus on the service towards the society can cause constant stress. We are therefore at this moment finalizing a contract with psychologists.
Guidelines for Operators and Users of Public Transportation
MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PASSENGERS ALLOWED PER VEHICLE:
General rule: No more than 2 passengers should sit in the same row while observing social distance minimums of 2 meters (6 feet).
Based on the types of vehicles currently providing public transportation related services, this has been further defined per category as follows:
- Vans (with max. capacity of 7 seats) are prohibited from transporting more than 4 passengers at one time.
- Minibuses (with max. capacity of 16 seats) are prohibited from transporting more than 8 passengers at one time.
- Coaster busses (with max. capacity of 29 seats) are prohibited from transporting more than 16 passengers at one time.
- Charter buses (with max. capacity of 60 seats) are prohibited from transporting more than 30 passengers at one time.
SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR DRIVERS:
- Drivers are encouraged to perform regular hand hygiene, including using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Drivers should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and should avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- High touch surfaces, including seats, door handles and handrails should be cleaned and disinfected frequently during the day.
- When cleaning/disinfecting staff should wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves and eye/ face protection; After removing PPE, staff should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR PASSENGERS:
- Maintain at least 2 meters (6 feet) distance between yourself and the next passenger;
- Regularly and thoroughly sanitize your hands with a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover nose/mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Use disposable tissues and discard after use.
- Sanitize hands after coughing or sneezing.
Minister Doran said that while Sint Maarten is going through trying times, there are those who are using this opportunity to take advantage of the situation in regards to crime as we have seen various serious senseless criminal acts taking place over the past few days.
The Minister encouraged the population to remain calm despite the circumstances, as the Government is working diligently towards securing the wellbeing of the people, by finding solutions to problems that may arise due to the situation at hand.
Minister ended by asking God to bless the people of Sint Maarten.