As of January 27, 2021, Sint Maarten has imposed a travel ban from certain countries including the UK, South Africa and South America. The reason for this is due to three new variants of the COVID-19 virus that are circulating worldwide, which are more infectious than the original COVID-19 strain.
These variants have originated in the UK (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351) and Brazil (P1). Besides these variants of concern, other variants of the COVID-19 virus are circulating. Some of these may develop into more harmful variants over time, while others will keep the same characteristics as the original COVID-19 virus. The table below provides an overview of the most common variants that are circulating in the world, their origin, spread, characteristics and whether they have been detected on Sint Maarten to date.