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Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs issues Business Closure clarification

The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication (TEATT) wished to hereby clarify the recent announcements made with regards to business closures in connection with the country’s measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Businesses that are allowed to remain open to the public:

The Ministerial Regulation entitled ‘ Regeling opening en sluitingstijden dienstverlenende bedrijven ter bestrijding van het coronavirus’ and the attachment thereto mentions the types of non-essential businesses (identified as the red list) that must remain closed until further notice. These businesses are:

· Day Care Centers

· Early Childhood Development Institutes

· Schools

· Universities

· Training facilities

· Retail stores (clothing, jewelry and souvenirs)

· Sales outlets and Shopping centers

· Vending stalls at the Philipsburg markets

· Bars

· Restaurants, incl. those situated at hotels (take-out and delivery services allowed)

· Roadside vendors (take-out and delivery services allowed)

· Casinos (stand-alone and hotel-based)

· Night Clubs & other dance establishments

· Adult Entertainment Establishments

· Art galleries and other exhibition halls

· Recreational centers

· The Cinema

· Businesses offering recreational activities, such as zip-lining, boat trips, quads etc.

· Gyms and other (indoor and outdoor) sports facilities

· Museum(s)

· Hair & Nail Salons

· Barbershops

· Conference facilities

· Outdoor establishments that accommodate events

These businesses are to remain closed until 12 midnight on March 31st, 2020, after which a decision will be taken given the situation at that time. Businesses that do not fall within this list (identified as the red list) are allowed to continue to provide their services to the public.

The Ministry further seeks to clarify that the published list of essential businesses (identified as the green list) does not form part of the Ministerial Regulation, but was published merely as a guide to indicate what type of businesses may remain open. However, it is the red list (list of non-essential businesses) and NOT the green list (list of essential businesses) that will be strictly enforced.

Business closing hours:

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that businesses that are allowed to open in connection with the aforementioned published Ministerial Regulation may only do so until 8 pm nightly. The Ministerial Regulation, which will be published on Monday provides the following clarity:

1. All businesses must be closed on Sundays and holidays, with the exception of supermarkets/ grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies, gas stations and hotels/ guesthouses.

2. Businesses that are allowed to open, must be closed by 8 pm on all other days (Mon-Sat), with the exception of hotels/ guesthouses, which may maintain their regular operating hours.

The above also applies to businesses with permits to open for extended hours or 24 hours.

Businesses that are allowed to open may do so at their own discretion, so long as they are closed in accordance with the aforementioned stipulations.

The above measures are in reference to businesses opening to the public! Work that has to be performed beyond closing hours may continue. This includes, but is not limited to: nighttime employees of news outlets, emergency service operators, SMMC personnel and Cargo workers.

For more information on this and other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on St. Maarten, please visit www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus.