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Nature Foundation Reports Massive Tilapia Fish Die Off in the Great Salt Pond

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Nature Foundation St. Maarten received reports of a massive fish die off in the channel between Great Salt Pond and Fresh Pond in Philipsburg. On Monday 25th of May, upon arrival at the location an estimated amount of 1000 Tilapia fish already died in the area and were floating in the channel at the Great Salt Pond. A decrease of oxygen levels in the pond water probably caused the massive fish die off. 

The Nature Foundation St. Maarten expects that the lack of oxygen in the water due to rising temperatures, absence of rainfall and an increase of salt concentrations caused the fish die off. In order to survive all fish, use their gills to extract oxygen from water helping them to breath. With a decrease in oxygen in the water, fish will struggle to survive and eventually die. Other factors that can affect the amount of oxygen in the water are lack of water movement, excess waste or certain chemical run-off into the pond. 

“The cause of death of the Tilapia fish may be a result of the dry weather and heat the island has been experiencing. The depth of the salt pond is 3 to 5 feet deep. Thus when the water level is low the heat penetrates, the saline level rises and the oxygen level decreases. Tilapia fish live mostly in murky fresh water ponds. Thus, as mentioned before when the oxygen level decrease and saline levels rise, the fish start migrating towards the Fresh Water Pond where more oxygen is available. The fishes only reach up until the floodgates located opposite the Illidge road roundabout. The floodgates are blocked off so that only a certain amount of fresh water from the fresh pond is let into Salt Pond daily via these gates, causing the fish to die at this location” explained Chief Ranger Etienne Lake. 

The Nature Foundation is also urging the community not to collect or consume the fish from this location. “The water quality is thought to be poor in the Great Salt Pond and it will be impossible to determine how long the fish has been dead. Consuming these Tilapia could affect your health. The incident has been reported to the involved government departments (VROMI), cleanups will be conducted as soon as possible as decomposing fish could cause serious smells and possibly affect the water quality and fish die off further” mentioned the Manager of the Nature Foundation Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern. The possibility of water quality testing is also being discussed and the Foundation will keep the public informed of any new information. 

A similar incident happened in the area in 2015 and 2013 when several tilapia die-offs occurred probably due to a theorized lack of oxygen in the water in the Great Salt Pond. The area of Great Salt Pond was used to produce salt for export off of St. Maarten in the past. The pond is also connected to the Rolondo Canal, which leads to Great Bay Harbor 

The combination of this incident and the rise of sargassum seaweed on the eastern beaches of St. Maarten are indicators that we have entered the summer season where higher temperatures and a lack of rainfall affect our environment. The Nature Foundation urges the community to stay vigilant in these times and ensure that they are not contributing to the waste water problem by allowing chemical or sewage run off to enter the natural waters of the island. Poor water quality dramatically affects the environment of St. Maarten. 

fish nature ins1

fish nature ins2

 

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Public Health MoU to be Signed Soon. Border to Reopen June 2nd

SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) – The Prefecture of Saint-Barths and Saint-Martin stated on Monday that the next phase of de-escalation begins on June 2nd if there are no dramatic changes between now and then with respect to the public health situation on the island.

Fifth and sixth graders returned to classes on Monday which was another phase of the returning to the new normal. This also included the re-opening of beaches and allowing boating activities within the past week.

If the public health situation remains without any changes, the next phase of re-opening takes place on June 2nd when sailing and other nautical activities can take place, but also no more border controls - free movement across the border between north and south.

The aforementioned is dependent on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Public Health that is to be signed between the authorities of Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten in the next few days.

The MoU is being finalized by the relevant government agencies between the two Governments.

A meeting took place on May 22nd between the Regional Health Agency of the French side and the Dutch side Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

The MoU establishes a common doctrine between both sides of the island, guaranteeing monitoring and control of the public health situation. A follow-up meeting is planned for Tuesday, May 26th, to discuss testing strategies, and contact tracing among other issues.

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CPS gives Safety Preventive Measures to 225 Construction Workers

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The construction sector is one area that could restart works in the week of May 11 phase 1 based on the four-phased de-escalation Economic Re-opening Plan. This was enacted as local COVID-19 transmission numbers came down.

Every workplace must have a system of Safe Management measures, to prevent the re-emergence of community cases.

On May 16, nurses from the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, namely, Nadine Richardson, Shardina Blomont-Frederick, and Alicia Torres and Valone Adams (volunteers), carried out their fifth COVID-19 safety preventive measures information session at the Bouygues Construction site at Pelican Key.

The health and safety of the nation remains a top priority for CPS.

The topics discussed was: what is COVID-19; the origin of COVID-19; signs and symptoms of COVID-19; the differences between isolation and quarantine; what you should do if you suspect you have COVID-19; why it is important to maintain the two meter social distancing; how to prevent contracting COVID-19 by avoiding touching M.E.N. (M=Mouth, E=Eye, N=Nose); proper usage and disposal of masks (surgical, cloth, N95); and the proper way to wash and sanitize your hands.

During the information sessions, information was also provided about why it is important to clean surfaces, door handles and telephones; and about the importance of removing jewelry and watches before washing your hands.

Pierre, Safety Manager at the construction site in Pelican Key, said that he ensures that all measures are taken to protect the workers and other persons that are at the work site, and that these measures are also maintained at their living quarters.

CPS urges businesses to implement safe management practices that will support the safe and gradual resumption of normal economic activities based on the de-escalation plan of the Government of Sint Maarten.

The aforementioned adherence and compliance to safety measures at the workplace supports businesses and creates a safe work environment for employees and customers with the aim to stop the spread of COVID-19 and any infectious disease.

We all must uphold good health and hygiene practices during this COVID-19 crisis.

MinVSA Construction COVID19 Presentation Preventive Measures

Construction workers in a classroom setting being informed by CPS officials about how to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.

 

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Minister Samuel Back to School Advice

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Education drs. Rodolphe Samuel issued a public statement with words of advice and encouragement for parents and children who will be going back to school on Monday, May 25th, 2020. The minister encourages the parents to make sure their children have all the necessary protective gear at hand so that the children will be able to abide by all safety and health protocols.

In his statement, Minister Samuel asks for the cooperation of the parents and the students as they "will be part of something new." The minister explained, that many of the students who are in their final academic year will be going to school to sit exams while the students of the other classes will remain at home and continue with their education online. "The school can make use of the extra empty classrooms to accommodate the exam students." the minister said.

"In this way," the minister explains, "teachers can apply social distancing and keep the students safe while they do their test. The task of all of us on Sint Maarten, is to be attentive during these weeks, as we go about daily business."

According to Minister Samuel, school buses will be on the road again. "The traffic in the area of our secondary schools will be heavier than usual, as parents will also be taking their children to school and picking them up," the minister explained. "Buses might take a little longer to load and offload students. With fewer children per bus, you might have more buses on the road. It is important that bus operators, parents, and students apply the health protocol laid down by our professionals. New rules will be in place for the buses."

"Keeping everyone safe, is the most important task for us all." Minister Samuel said. "Everyone is expected to contribute to keeping Sint Maarten healthy. We have to think about ourselves and also on others too. If the students making use of the bus follow the rules, then the bus operators will have less work to do."

"If your child is taking the bus." the minister advises, "make sure you have the telephone number of the bus operator, the bus number, the route of the bus, and the time the bus will pass in your area."

The minister encourages parents to provide their child or children with a bottle of water and a little bottle of hand sanitizer before going to school. "This is to ensure that they all have their own, which will also save time," Samuel said." They should always have it at hand and not wait until they are asked and then have to start looking for it."

The Minister of Education encourages everyone to be cooperative. "Let us help each other to stay safe. Each student should have a little pack of tissue, don’t always wait until the school has it available. When your child return home, remember to apply the same precautions, let the child change its clothes, and take a bath before going through the house," the minister advises.

"As a student it is important to be vigilant at all times and pay attention to what is happening around you. It is important to keep your distance when you are with your friends. Think of yourself and your family at home. Think in advance about your self-protective equipment. Make sure to have a facemask when going to school, and a shield if possible. You are allowed to wear your protective gear in school. Always encourage your friends to wear protective gear as well. When at home, make sure to put your protective equipment where you where you will easily locate it," the minister said. "When receiving personal protective equipment for the first time, make sure to try them on, take a picture in it and see what it looks like. Get used to it at home so that you would be comfortable wearing it."

The Minister of Education urges the parents to be on time, when bringing their children to school and picking them up. Don’t give them the opportunity to hang around for a long time waiting for you. Take a picture of your child’s schedule and keep it in your phone.

Minister Samuel concluded his statement with the following message: "I want to take this opportunity to wish the students much success with their exams. To the parents, teachers, and bus drivers, I also wish them much strength, courage and I urge them to be safe at all times."

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NOAA says up to 19 named storms, 10 could become hurricanes and up to six category 3+ major forecast for the season

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, said on Thursday. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.

“NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property.”

As with every hurricane season, the need to be prepared is critically important this year.

hurr seas outlook

hurr seas names

 

 

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Parliamentary motion places emphasis on human rights in connection with Dutch COVID-19 financial assistance

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Parliament of Sint Maarten in its meeting of May 19th, 2020, passed the following motion regarding financial assistance for the country related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.

COVID-19 and its human rights dimensions.

COVID 19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities and of individuals. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the virus, and to mitigate the effects, often unintended, of measures designed to halt the spread of the virus, according to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

Respect for human rights across the spectrum, including economic, social, cultural, and civil and political rights, will be fundamental to the success of the public health response and recovery from the pandemic, the UN Human Rights Office points out.

Motion

The motion takes into consideration: That on May 13th, 2020, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands informed the Prime Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten of a written draft proposal by the Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations to provide financial assistance to the latter three governments aimed at mitigating the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 situation,

That the Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations in his advice of May 13th 2020 indicated that acceptance of the proposal is due by Wednesday, May 20th, 2020, by 11 a.m. Sint Maarten time,

That the Government of St. Maarten has indicated to Parliament that most, if not all of the conditions proposed by the Dutch Government are equivalent to the ones already being proposed by the Government of St. Maarten

The Charter of the United Nations, and in particular articles 2, 73, 103, resolutions 742 (VIII), 747 (VIII), and 945 (X), the “Statuut voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden”, article 93 of the Constitution (“de Grondwet”) of the Netherlands, article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Conventions, the KYOTO PROTOCOL TO THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE, and the SENDAI FRAMEWORK FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION 2015-2030,

The fact that the “State Party to said Charters, conventions and protocols is the Kingdom of the Netherlands,

The implications that the Kingdom of the Netherlands is ultimately responsible for guaranteeing that the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom are able to live up to their obligations under all international treaties and conventions to which the Kingdom of the Netherlands as State Party is a signatory,

That this ultimate responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands does not negate the obligation of the Government of the Netherlands to comply with the international laws governing self-determination, decolonization, and the right of the people of Sint Maarten to a full measure self-government based on absolute equality with the Netherlands as colonizing power,

That the Government of the Netherlands voluntarily, unconditionally, and generously provides financial and other assistance to independent nations outside of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean region and beyond,

In accordance with Article 67 of the Constitution of St. Maarten: “Parliament is authorised to represent the interests of Sint Maarten to the Government of the Kingdom and to the Parliament of the Netherlands.”

Declares:

That the parliament is desirous of fully supporting the Council of Ministers of St. Maarten in its quest to secure financial and other assistance with the sustainable rebuilding and strengthening of the economy of Sint Maarten in the wake of hurricane Irma and the COVID-19 situation for the benefit of the wellbeing of the people of Sint Maarten,

Resolves:

  1. To support the government of St. Maarten’s response to the Kingdom Council of Ministers that most if not all of the content of the proposal was already in the planning to be addressed by the government of St. Maarten.
  1. That the conditions in said written proposal should only be accepted insofar that:
  1. they are not in violation of local Laws, Kingdom Laws, international charters, conventions, and protocols such as those mentioned in the considerations,
  2. they are equivalent to the proposals for solidarity that were already in process by the Government of St. Maarten,
  3. they should be, as has often been advised by the CFT: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART),
  4. the relevant union and labor representatives have been consulted.
  1. To remind the Kingdom Government of its obligations and responsibilities, as well as that of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as State Party to the international charters, conventions, and protocols as mentioned in the considerations of this motion; Parliament does this in accordance with Article 67 of the Constitution of St. Maarten.
  1. For the council of Ministers to continue dialogue with the Kingdom Government and other relevant partners within the Kingdom with the aim at securing the required COVID-19 related assistance based on the laws, charters, conventions, and protocols as mentioned in the considerations of this motion.
  1. To urge the Kingdom Government to cooperate with the process as listed sub 4 of this motion.
  1. For the Chair of Parliament and the Chair of the St. Maarten Parliamentary Committee of Kingdom Relations to engage relevant experts on the matters related to this motion to provide advice and assistance on conditionalities within the kingdom for mutual assistance within two (2) weeks.
  1. For the Chair of Parliament to bring this motion to the attention of the legitimate legislative, executive, and judiciary branches within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Nations, as well as having it added to the agenda of the IPKO meetings scheduled for 2020,

And goes over to the order of the day.

 

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

HC Bachelet bio

Michelle Bachelet Jeria

Who we are?

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. The General Assembly entrusted both the High Commissioner and her Office with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. The United Nations human rights programme aims to ensure that the protection and enjoyment of human rights is a reality in the lives of all people. UN Human Rights also plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of the three interconnected pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, human rights and development.

UN Human Rights provides assistance in the form of technical expertise and capacity-development in order to support the implementation of international human rights standards on the ground. It assists governments, which bear the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights, to fulfil their obligations and supports individuals to claim their rights. Moreover, it speaks out objectively on human rights violations.

Structure

UN Human Rights is part of the United Nations Secretariat, with a staff of some 1300 people and its headquarters in Geneva, as well as an office in New York. It has field presences that comprise regional and country/stand-alone offices. Furthermore, UN Human Rights supports the human rights components of UN peace missions or political offices and deploys human rights advisers to work with the United Nations Country teams.

The Geneva-based headquarters has three substantive divisions:

Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division (TESPRDD), which develops policy and provides guidance, tools, advice and capacity-strengthening support on thematic human rights issues, including for human rights mainstreaming purposes; and provides support to the Human Rights Council’s special procedures.

Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (CTMD), which provides substantive and technical support to the HRC and the Council’s UPR mechanism, and supports the human rights treaty bodies.

Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD), which is responsible for overseeing and implementing the Office’s work in the field.

Dedicated services and sections, which report directly to the Deputy High Commissioner, handle core management, planning, coordination and outreach functions.

Leadership

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations. The High Commissioner heads OHCHR and spearheads the United Nations' human rights efforts.

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Nature Foundation Launches First Eco-Bracelet to show support in Protecting the Environment

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Nature Foundation St. Maarten presents their first Eco-Bracelets which identifies the carrier as an eco-warrior and symbolizes their commitment to a clean and sustainable St. Maarten, the project is made possible through the generous contribution from the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) on behalf of their members.

The Eco-bracelet is made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabric, which is the primary material used for the production of water bottles around the world. Billions of PET bottles are discarded each year and a significant amount of them become littered in the natural environment, representing one of the biggest waste problems on Earth.  

The first edition of the St. Maarten Eco-bracelet displays the text “Nature is our Future SXM”, which is the slogan of the Nature Foundation, along with an outline of our beloved island. Each Eco-Bracelet includes a flyer explaining what it means to wear the bracelet, how you can continue to support the Nature Foundation and a map of Sint Maarten’s Marine Protected Area and dive sites. 

“We are very excited to introduce the first Nature Foundation Eco-Bracelet and are looking forward to the support of the community in wearing the bracelets. We hope that residents and visitors of St. Maarten will proudly wear the Eco-Bracelets to show their support for nature conservation and protecting of our natural environment” stated the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. 

Eco-bracelets can be ordered now on the Nature Foundation’s website; www.naturefoundationsxm.org,  and will be available for scheduled pick-up beginning June 1st, 2020 and orders of 5 bracelets or more can be delivered already. For a contributing donation of $10 one eco-bracelet will be provided, which directly supports the protection and enhancement of St. Maarten’s natural environment.

To increase nature awareness among tourism, the assistance of the business sector is essential, therefore the Nature Foundation offers a retail option for businesses to reach the visitors of our island. Bracelet displays made from up-cycled materials by the Waste Factory will be provide for free by a retail order of 20 or more, for more information businesses interested in retail can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organizations that manage the nature parks in the Dutch Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and St. Maarten) face a structural shortage of financing to fulfil their nature management tasks, the Nature Foundation St. Maarten faces the greatest financial challenge.

On the other hand, nature is the basis for their economic and social development, as they are the key asset for the tourism sector, thereby creating jobs and generating funds for the government from related taxes. Nature also provide key attractions for tourism, cultural and recreational opportunities for residents, food, coastal protection, disaster protection and other services like climate and erosion control and key habitat for biodiversity. 

“The Nature Foundation, with the assistance of the WWF-NL, DCNA and the Wolfs Company, has been working very hard in order to create possibilities to increase sustainable funding for nature management, we are proud to launch the first step in the process, which is the Eco-Bracelet. We also would like to specially thank Ildiko Gilders, Maarten like St Maarten, Caribbean Association of Banks, the Waste Factory and Print & Sign Express for the involvement and their major contribution to make the Eco-Bracelet a reality” notated Nature Foundation’s Manager Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern. 

The Nature Foundation St. Maarten manages and preserves the nation’s nature areas and natural habitats, provides education and awareness, and conducts essential research and monitoring of species and ecosystems. 

These efforts include Coral Reef Monitoring, Sea Turtle nesting Monitoring, the management of the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area, educational and outreach events, and much more. To learn more about what the Nature Foundation does or what you can do to help visit naturefoundationsxm.org. Every donation the Nature Foundation receives goes towards assisting the Foundation support and protect the environment of St. Maarten.

nature ins1

nature bracelet ins2

 

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SONESTA RESORTS SINT MAARTEN LAUNCHES PureCare. Will Utilize Anti-Pathogen Technology and Best Practices in their New Sanitization Program. On-Property Doctor and Hospitality Industry Health & Safety Expert Also Available

SINT MAARTEN (MAHO) - Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten, comprising the all-inclusive, adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and the all-inclusive, family focused Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, today announce PureCare, the company’s new sanitization program ensuring the wellbeing, health and safety of their employees and guests, addressing the concerns of COVID-19.

PureCare has been developed following best practices from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), the Government of Sint Maarten’s Ministry of Public Health, and validated by local experts for maximum efficacy.

Pioneering sanitization practices in the destination, Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten will use a highly effective and long-lasting treatment, which involves a multi-step electrostatic application and coating process that works to immediately kill and prevent future pathogens from living on treated surfaces. EPA registered and FDA approved for direct contact food surfaces—making it ideal for the hospitality industry—the antimicrobial coating system has been proven to neutralize and constantly reduce pathogens by >99% on treated surfaces even after routine cleaning.

PureCare by Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten will encompass all areas of both resorts including guest rooms, lobby areas, reception, meetings and convention spaces, fitness center, public restrooms, elevators, corridors, bars, restaurants, fitness center, spa, and kid’s club, as well as the back of house employee-only areas. 

The overall PureCare protocol will include initiatives as follows:
 
Employee Protocols
Team members reporting for work will pass over a chemical mat to disinfect footwear, go through a thorough disinfection process for clothing and personal effects, and undergo daily temperature checks. Staff will be assigned to fixed shifts that do not meet or overlap during changeovers to contain the spread of a possible infection. All staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including, but not limited to, KN95 masks and gloves as well as face shields for designated positions.

Overall Guest and Employee Safety Measures
The resort has an on-property doctor and a Hospitality Industry Health & Safety Expert trained in mitigating the risks of spreading viruses. An appropriate set of procedures in accordance with Sint Maarten’s Ministry of Health and CDC guidelines is in place should an employee or guest test positive for COVID-19. Further, physical barriers will be placed strategically in high traffic areas including the lobby, restaurants and indoor common areas wherever safe social distancing cannot be maintained, defined at six feet, or two meters, as well as limiting the occupancy in elevators. Physical distancing between guests not traveling together will be encouraged, and guests are required to wear masks whenever appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained.


Welcome/Check in
Guests will be urged to utilize mobile check in and check out to limit front desk interaction, and for those not paying with a mobile app, we have new TAP credit card machines as a touchless option. An infrared surveillance system will take guests’ temperature upon arrival, and whenever accessing certain areas of the resort. Social distancing floor markers will be placed in all high traffic areas and new lobby furniture layout will further support social distancing requirements. Safety screens will be installed at all service desks and one check agent will be assigned at each station that will be disinfected after each shift. Check-in will be moved to 4pm to allow time for enhanced cleaning measures.


Guests will receive sealed welcome packages with contactless room access bracelets, and are further encouraged to use their Smartphones to stay up-to-date on resort information with the Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten app. Guests will enjoy larger shuttles that will ensure safe social distancing, each fully cleaned after each use, and the exterior of guests’ luggage will be fully disinfected upon arrival.

Restaurants & Bars
The resorts will enable guests to use a QR code when viewing restaurant menus. A redesign of the resorts’ buffet restaurant will eliminate all multi-touch points, manage guest flow and maintain social distancing. All restaurant floor plans will be redesigned to optimize social distancing from groups or families not traveling together, and expanded, outdoor seating will be added to restaurants and bars. A dedicated sanitation staff will be assigned to disinfect tables and chairs and other touch points after each seating.


Accommodations & Hygiene
A welcome amenity kit will include facemasks, hand sanitizer and gloves for guests to use during their stay. All guest rooms will be fully treated with antimicrobial solution with electrostatic application. Non-essential items from the room will be eliminated including magazines, decorative pillows and other items. Pool towels will be placed in room to avoid contact with pool attendants. Guests will be encouraged to use their Smartphones to control their televisions.

Housekeeping staff will wear PPE including masks, face shields, gloves and shoe guards at all times. The staff will follow a strict sanitation procedure and check list to ensure a deep clean of high touch points in all guest rooms including lamps, light switches and electronic controls; handles and knobs on doors, thermostat, closets, drawers, and drapery pull handles; and bathroom surfaces including toilet handles, seats, shower/tub controls and sink faucets. Bath amenities, furniture, hard surfaces, safe, iron and ironing board and in-room beverage amenities such as ice bucket, mini bar, coffee maker will also be paid specific attention. Further, all multi-touch items including, but not limited to, telephones, TV remote controls and alarm clocks will be sanitized and sealed. A thorough steam cleaning and antimicrobial treatment will be done on mattresses and curtains between stays along with a deep clean of bed and bedding including all bed linens, duvet covers, pillow cases and sheets. A clean seal will be placed on rooms after inspection by a supervisor.

The Resort Experience
Lobby and all public area furniture and soft furnishings will be spaced safely according to social distancing requirements and treated with the antimicrobial coating system. Public touch points such as elevator buttons, handrails and door handles will be constantly sanitized, and public restrooms will receive an increased regimented cleaning with HALT, a hospital-grade cleaner. Hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes will be available throughout the resorts, and at each elevator and the resorts are installing foot door openers where needed, to eliminate touch points and add additional safety measures.

The resorts will feature a larger man-made beach area allowing for comfortable social distancing. All beach and pool sun loungers are serviced with the antimicrobial treatment, are regularly disinfected between use and are placed six feet or two meters apart in sets, so groups traveling together can safely enjoy their time together.

The Serenity Spa will abide by all new hygiene and sanitation protocols, and appropriate social distancing measures, offering a new treatment menu reflecting enhanced safety precautions.

Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten welcomes guests when they will be ready to travel offering peace of mind that all health and hygiene procedures are in place; a safe haven to ensure the future security and wellbeing without compromising comfort for an enjoyable vacation experience.

Sonesta St Maarten Resorts panorama

 

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Minister Richardson to meet Justice Committee of Parliament to discuss draft Penal Procedure Code related to CFATF

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Tuesday May 19, 2020 Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with the Justice Committee of Parliament, to discuss the pending approval of the draft Penal Procedure Code.

However, due to the requested urgent meeting of Parliament concerning government’s deadline to respond to the conditions posed by the Kingdom government as it relates to St. Maarten receiving financial assistance to cover the cost of the St. Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP), the scheduled meeting has been postponed until Friday, May 22, 2020.

Considering that to date, little headway has been made by various Ministers of Justice and various Parliaments in moving the handling of the Penal Procedure Code forward considerably, Minister Richardson has opted for a different approach by requesting the scheduled meeting of Tuesday May 19, 2020 to be held behind closed door.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting being requested, the Minister and her legal team reviewed the proposed amendments made by Members of Parliament and considered the proposed amendment achievable. Minister Richardson is of the opinion that further discussions in a closed setting will allow for a more open exchange of views and will lead to all parties reaching consensus.

After which the discussions will then be brought to a public meeting for decision-making and will see the majority of Parliament vote to pass the law. “The deliberations on this draft Penal Procedure have been ongoing for some time now. It is lamentable that to date, the public discussions that were held did not produce satisfactory results. What we have seen is St. Maarten been given a public statement.

“Thankfully, despite being in the same space as it relates to the draft Penal Procedure Code, the FATF matrix was completed and sent on to the CFATF Secretariat in Trinidad and Tobago on April 30, 2020 to further confirm the passing and enactment of the Civil Code and the Penal Code in 2019,” said Minister Richardson.

St. Maarten having submitted the matrix puts the country on a positive rhythm with the FATF regulations and brings it closer to move out of the third round and into the fourth round. Minister Richardson looks forward to attending the CFATF Plenary session in November 2020, gaining a positive review for St. Maarten and thereby applying to move to the fourth round in May 2021 and having the public statement lifted for the country.

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Minister of Justice visits Police Headquarters

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday morning, May 18, 2020, the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson paid a visit to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters, the law enforcement agency said in a statement on Monday evening.

The Minister, under guidance of the Chief Inspectors B. Gout and D. Baptist together with Head of Operations Glenda Pecht, got a firsthand  opportunity to visit the police station in Philipsburg, the prison, dispatch center as well as other departments within the main police station.

As the new hurricane season is rapidly approaching, the Minister assessed the progress made on the work being done to the police station following the damages caused by the passing of hurricane Irma back in 2017.

The visit was a success and the Minister was pleased with the overall progress and will be making more visits in the future to continue to assess the progress and continuous growth of the organization. (KPSM)

min just visit to police

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