PHILIPSBURG–Government announced in a national address on Saturday afternoon that certain categories of businesses in the entertainment industry have been ordered to close for two weeks, while restaurants must now close at 10:00pm daily. These measures are in response to the rapidly increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever said government intervention was “of urgent importance” considering the rise in cases and the country’s medical capacity.
Nightclubs, bars, discotheques, lounges and adult entertainment establishments have been mandated to close as per a newly signed Ministerial Regulation, said De Weever. The closures will be in effect from tomorrow, Sunday, until Monday, August 31. The regulation also stipulates that restaurants must close at 10:00pm daily.
Casinos can remain open, but with restrictions on table games and serving refreshments.
Government announced on Friday that adult entertainment establishments voluntarily decided to close their doors in advance of the Ministerial Regulation.
Deputy Prime Minister Egbert Doran emphasised that the country is not under a state of emergency. However, he said more stringent measures will be considered if coronavirus cases continue to increase.
Doran urged residents to adhere to health guidelines and to minimise non-essential movement. He also wished a speedy recovery to those currently suffering from the coronavirus.
There are 150 active coronavirus cases in St. Maarten, based on the latest figures released by government on Friday. The number of active cases more than doubled in the past week, going from 74 to 150.