According to the Police Kingdom Act, the Minister of Justice is responsible and accountable for both the public order and assistance tasks as well as for the judicial tasks of the police. Pursuant to Article 1 of the General Police Ordinance, everyone must abide by the regulations established by the Minister of Justice during extraordinary circumstances in the interest of public order, peace, or security.
In this regard, the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson, in close consultation with the Police, and the Public Prosecution Service, announces the following. On March 11, The World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus (COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2) is a global pandemic. Based on this declaration, the Government of St. Maarten took fast and effective measures to prevent the virus from spreading on a national level. By increasing its risk management, implementing and enforcing strict preventive measures such as maintaining a social distance of 2 meters from others, the government was able to curb or even halt the spreading of the coronavirus, within a few months.
Recently, it has become apparent that the risk of infection with the coronavirus is still present on St. Maarten and has become of great concern. On the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, of July, there have been, respectively, 2, 3, and 10 new infected cases confirmed. pandemic. At the same time, it is observed that the public has become less disciplined in keeping with the aforementioned 2 meter social distancing rule.
For maintaining public order and safety as well as safeguarding the health of the people of St. Maarten in these extraordinary circumstances, it is therefore decided that government inspectors and police officers may put a stop to all public and private events and gatherings in the event that the social distancing rule of 2 meters away from other persons is not adhered to. Additionally, everyone – i.e. individuals, shop owners, restaurateurs, or other entrepreneurs - must strictly follow and comply with all measures taken by the competent authorities to prevent, limit or combat the risks of the coronavirus to public safety.
These precautionary and mitigating measures of the government are an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus. The inspectors and police officers will strictly enforce these measures. All instructions issued by the police for executing and enforcing these measures should, therefore, be strictly and immediately respected. Non-compliance with these measures will be considered a violation of the General Police Ordinance and the Penal Code.
The community is encouraged to stay informed, practice good hygiene, be aware, and be prepared. As a community, we are in this together in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus on St. Maarten.