SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Marine Management & Consulting (MMC) NV, Owner and operator of The Yacht Club Port De Plaisance Marina St. Maarten would hereby like to inform the general public on the measures and steps it has taken since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Since March 11th2020, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Coronavirus Covid-19 had become a global pandemic, Yacht Club Port De Plaisance management and team sprung into action and took the first steps by increasing its sanitary measures and made sure to follow the recommendations provided by the WHO and local Health Department.
On March 13th, 2020 the Yacht Club Port De Plaisance took additional steps from the advice and recommendations provided by the Country’s Honorable Prime Minister Ms. Silveria Jacobs and took keen attention specifically to the travel restrictions outlined in the Prime Minister’s official announcement.
These travel restrictions were sent the following day electronically on March 14th to all marina customers and its employees and advised everyone that they should monitor updates daily as this would affect all travel plans and itineraries. The official announcement did not specifically make mention of the private yachting sector and entry to the Simpson Bay Lagoon, but the marina found it necessary to provide the info seeing that changes and increased measures would more than likely be taken in the coming days.
During the weekend of March 14th and March 15th, the travel restrictions were updated and officially announced again by the Prime Minister. Of these travel restrictions, more countries were added, and it wasn’t until March 17th that Prime Minister Ms. Silveria Jacobs announced that as of March 17th only Legal residents, and persons holding a Dutch ID were allowed to enter and that as of March 22nd, no other entries to the Island would be allowed even to local residents.
Yacht Club Port De Plaisance, took these travel restrictions seriously and stopped all inbound arrivals as of March 17th and informed all customers and local yachting agents that the marina would no longer allow arrivals as per the Prime Minister’s declaration and announcement.
This request was also sent to customers who were due to arrive and were advised to stay put where they were and recommended that they should consult with their clearing agents before coming to St. Maarten. We therefore would like to make it clear that none of the arriving vessels that entered through the bridge this weekend and in the last two days were allowed entry to dock at its facility.
In closing, we want the general public to know that while these measures enforced clearly has largely impacted our business and has caused many issues for our customers, their crew and our employees. We found it necessary during these unfortunate times to put the health of our employees, customers and our Island in general first during this pandemic. While the Yacht Club Port De Plaisance could stay open and considered to be an essential business, we took the honorable Prime Ministers message and travel restrictions important and imperative in fighting this pandemic.
It is unfortunate, that these measures were not followed by others, and we find it surprising to say the least that exceptions and or chances were taken even after the Prime Minister’s message was clear. It is our main goal as a company and marina destination to welcome our visitors and we hereby want to also make it clear that we are in no way implying that any of the vessels and travelers arriving our shores could be spreading the virus.
However, all official health recommendations posted have requested to stop all travel at this time and that this would be effective for stopping the spread. It takes a unified St. Maarten to protect of our nation from this pandemic and we are appalled to see that others aren’t taking it so seriously.