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Port St. Maarten has Guidelines in Place for Phased Economic Reopening Process

Great Bay Beach with the cruise port in the background pre-COVID-19 times. (file photo) Great Bay Beach with the cruise port in the background pre-COVID-19 times. (file photo)

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten Management said on Tuesday that it has various guidelines and protocols in place that are compliant with the Economic Reopening phased process of the national economy which moved into phase 3 on June 1st.

The country is open to yachts, cruisers and private vessels and private flights that would facilitate crew changes based on the protocols approved by the Government of St. Maarten. All government COVID-19 preventive policies must be adhered to; these policies can change if circumstances change.

The four key points related to the maritime sector are: the national quarantine guidelines dictate that everybody arriving on the island must quarantine for 14-days; exemptions could be made for arrival from specific countries based on bilateral agreements which would be announced and will also be applicable for yachts; social distancing of two meters must be adhered to at all times; ensure adherence to preventative measures such as the provision of hand sanitizer, tissue and garbage bags for good respiratory etiquette; and specific cleaning guidelines for COVID-19.

As it relates to the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority and operational procedures for the Simpson Bay Bridge and the Causeway Bridge for maritime traffic, Port St. Maarten is compliant with all COVID-19 regulations related to border protection, public health safety and security.

The opening of the Simpson Bay Bridge will remain at two times per day and this will be re-evaluated around mid-June as the country moves into phase 4 of the Economic Reopening process.

Currently the Simpson Bay Bridge opens at 9.00AM for inbound and outbound traffic, and again at 2.00PM inbound/outbound. The Causeway Bridge opening is synchronized with the Simpson Bay Bridge openings and is coordinated with mariners by calling the VHF-12 channel.

The Government’s protocols for the maritime community contains the general guidelines applicable to all incoming crew/guests and vessels; departing vessels (those vessels currently in St. Maarten waters looking to depart in advance of the hurricane season); protocols for arriving vessels; and vessels arriving from the French side of the island.

A number of measures have been taken at the initiative of Port Management such as the ‘Sterile Port Protocol’ that includes enhanced sanitization measures which have been in place since mid-March at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility.

The St. Maarten port community frontline staff have been ensuring that the global supply chain related to the movement of cargo, food, medical supplies, essential goods critical to our community and other consumer goods, continues to move throughout the region to St. Maarten and the surrounding islands.

Port St. Maarten continues to provide essential services to the community with top priority being the health, safety and well-being of the port workforce, and its users.

Port Management reminds personnel of various port users to remain vigilant and take the necessary personal preventive measures as promoted by the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) to minimize the risk of infection from COVID-19.

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