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Hurricane Pass Application Process Opens June 2nd and Closes June 30th

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The application process for the annual Hurricane Passes for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season commences on Tuesday, June 2nd.

There are two types of passes, the Disaster Pass and the Hurricane Pass. No passes will be issued to business owners in general, only with some exemption categories as noted below.

The pass allows the bearer to access the public road to visit the place of business to assess possible damage to their property and to continue their operations which are vital for society as soon as possible, only during certain hours that will be stipulated and announced by the Prime Minister under a curfew situation.

Company passes will be accepted during curfew hours from the following institutions: Sint Maarten Medical Center and the White & Yellow Cross Foundation.

Potential applicants have until June 30 to present all relevant information related to the process of requesting a pass.

Disaster Passes are issued to the following crucial disaster relief organizations and are valid for three years. The disaster relief organizations consists of the following: Emergency Operations Center staff, Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) staff, Crucial governmental organizations and entities involved in disaster management such as medical institutions, general practitioners and pharmacies, Red Cross, WIEMS, National Security Service VDSM, Sea Rescue, Shelter Management, Ministers and their drivers.

The following categories qualify for a Hurricane Pass which is valid for two-years: Essential Government personnel without a disaster pass; Essential personnel of crucial companies or organizations: NV GEBE, Seven Seas Water, Telecom and Internet providers, Princess Juliana International Airport, Port St. Maarten, Hotels and Guesthouses, Marinas, Fuel distributors and gas stations, Commercial banks, Hardware stores, Security companies (supervisors only), Medium and large sized supermarkets, Restaurants (those providing food services to emergency services), Importers and Wholesale Companies for perishable goods (Only requests can be submitted for refrigeration and or generator technicians).

The crucial organizations as listed above (disaster & hurricane passes) can request personal passes for their key personnel.

The Office of Disaster Management that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs, is handling the application process for the passes on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The Hurricane Pass is valid for the 2020 and 2021 hurricane seasons and will remain the property of the Government of Sint Maarten.

The pass system is a mechanism to maintain public order during emergency situations. The Prime Minister assesses the damage in conjunction with Emergency Disaster Management entities of the Government after a disaster has occurred and can impose a curfew if the extent of the damage poses a threat to the safety and security of the community.

An application form can be requested by sending an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Emails should include the following: Name of organization; Request for disaster or hurricane pass.

When submitting the application, the following documents need to be attached:

-      copy business license fee paid (or receipt) for 2020 (for businesses);

-      proof of 2020 registration at the Chamber of Commerce (for organizations);

-      copy valid Sint Maarten ID-card of applicant;

-      Nafl. 50,- in leges stamps per application (to be obtained at the Receiver’s Office or the Simpson Bay Public Service Center), this is a non-refundable handling fee;

-      One (1) passport picture for new applicants, to be sent in JPEG-format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the name of the person clearly indicated.

The application form has to be completed and submitted with the required attachments in printed form at one of the following offices: Fire Department, to the attention of the secretary located at Jackal Road 5, Cay Hill, (office hours Monday – Friday 9.00AM – 4.00PM); and the Public Service Center, located at Airport road 6, Simpson Bay (need to check with them for opening times).

Applicants will be informed by email or telephone when to pick up the pass at the aforementioned address.

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TelEm in the process of cutting costs due to downturn in revenues

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The Sint Maarten Telecommunications Company TelEm issued a brief statement from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kendall Dupersoy on Monday evening with respect to cost-cutting measures for the telecommunications group.

The brief statement issued by the company reads as follows: “TelEm management has proposed necessary cost cutting measures to our employees based on expected revenue loss due to telecommunication trends and covid-19. At this time, we have no further comment pending discussions with the union and management team.”

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Minister Doran informs public about large scale district cleanup to start in July

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of VROMI, E.J. Doran informs the general public, that following the many district cleanups that have already been taking place island wide, a large scale general cleanup schedule has been put in place, which is set to be executed during the months of July and August upcoming, and will be rounded off in time for the peak of the hurricane season.

Each district will be assigned a date on which they can dispose of unwanted debris. This debris must be placed curbside or at designated central bin locations. Debris in private yards, will not be collected by the haulers. Car wrecks will also not be collected by the haulers.

The Ministry of VROMI has arranged special provisions for senior citizens and disabled persons in need of assistance.

These persons are encouraged to contact Ms. C. Hazel at +17215207023 or Mr. Schaminee at +17215207028 at the Department of Infrastructure Management at the Ministry of VROMI.

The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI), encourages the general public to pay keen attention to the districts cleanup schedule and to adhere to the disposal rules.
This schedules will be forwarded to the various community councils on the island in order to be distributed in the districts.

In regards to the above mentioned notice, Minister of VROMI, E.J. Doran urges residents to take advantage of this advanced notice, in order to properly gather all debris in your area, and have it ready to be disposed of, avoiding or minimizing damage to property and human life for this 2020 Hurricane Season.

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MP Duncan questions Government on the economic impact of monies leaving the country and requests advice from SER

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – National Alliance (MP) Member of Parliament Solange Ludmila Duncan recently sent separate letters to the Minister of General Affairs and the Minister of Finance in connection with monies leaving St. Maarten via money transfer agencies.

“Over the last few weeks there has been much discussion on the types of measures that will need to be taken in order to minimize the economic recession and the major losses in public funds. COVID-19 has forced us to finally evaluate new avenues in which to generate income for the Government and new taxes may play a critical role in the country’s recovery and future development.” noted the MP in her in her letter to the respective Ministers.

Via the Minister of Finance, the MP requested data from the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) on the total amount of remittances leaving the monetary union via money transfer agencies like Western Union and MoneyGram over the last 5 years and any license or other fees that these agencies must pay to the CBCS and Government.

“Countries within the region like the British Virgin Islands are implementing new taxes on foreign remittances. I believe that we should look at how the country can benefit from all the money that leaves our economy but also think about our own diaspora and developing the same sort of relationship.

“St. Maarteners around the world can help us without having to move back; whether through money transfers to family members, providing technical assistance or advice. We’ve never made a concerted effort in developing the kind of diaspora that would push this country forward. I believe the time is now,” added the MP.

The MP has asked the Minister of General Affairs to solicit advice and a report from the Social Economic Council (SER) on her behalf on the socio-economic impact of foreign remittances as well as the possible introduction of a tax on said monies.

“Research by the SER on the above-mentioned will be of much value to Government and Parliament as we work on further developing this country. I look forward to receiving the Ministers’ cooperation and working with Government on new income generating measures for St. Maarten,” concluded the MP.

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MP Buncamper calls for urgent meeting about Trust Fund programs and projects status

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday, May 29th, 2020, United St. Maarten Party (USP) Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius Buncamper sent an email to the President of Parliament MP Rolando Brison requesting an urgent meeting regarding the still pending National Program Recovery Bureau (NRPB) programs and projects.

The email suggests that it is imperative that the Prime Minister is invited to the meeting, accompanied by the NRPB directorate and any other support staff desired by the prime minister.

MP Buncamper's request was supported by MP Akeem Arrindell (USP), MP Sarah Wescot-Williams (United Democrats (UD), MP Melissa Gumbs (Party for Progress (PFP), MP Raeyhon Peterson (PFP), and MP Christophe Emmanuel (National Alliance (NA).

The meeting serves to allow the Prime Minister and her support staff to provide an update on a number of pending issues, such as the various approved projects and programs of the trust fund that are yet to be implemented, the upcoming 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season which officially starts on June 1st and jump starting the country's economy.

The agenda points allow also for clarification on the lack of approval of a number of programs that are beneficial to the economic growth of the country, while emphasis is placed also on the Focus Audit which was done by the General Audit Chamber of St. Maarten in May referencing "The Reconstruction Funds for St. Maarten".

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Curfew now from 11.00pm to 5.00am. Businesses can open on Saturdays and Sundays

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) advised and the Council of Ministers decided that movement should be allowed on Saturday, May 30, 2020, and that the curfew hours be adjusted from 11:00 PM until 5:00 AM.

Additionally, businesses will be allowed to open on Sunday as well in accordance with the Ministerial Regulation signed on May 29, 2020, 0324 implementing the changes to Phase 3 which now begins today Saturday, May 30, 2020.

The Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs stated on Saturday that, “I know many work up wondering, but we had to make sure in publishing it first which was published today and now everyone is aware that Saturday and Sundays are now open days as well.

“There was much debate whether tomorrow would be open or not and so I would like to tell the people of St. Maarten it will not be feasible to open if you stay at home. It is still your prerogative to do your shopping and other essential services from Monday to Saturday even though some places will be opening prior to the lockdown on a Sunday.  

“I believe we have learned a lot of lessons thru this COVID-19 reality and the value of family and spending as much time as possible together should remain our focus even as we move forward in reopening our businesses.”

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Safety measures a top priority as SXM Airport readies for staggered re-opening in June

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - With more and more countries around the world starting to open up to the travelling public with a gradual cooling off of the Coronavirus lockdown, so are major airlines keen to resume flights to St. Maarten - that’s the word from PJIAE Management after receiving multiple enquiries from major carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines and JetBlue.

They are all eager to once again land at SXM, St. Maarten and St. Martin’s regional hub, during the month of June and onward. The airport has been in hibernation mode since the third week of March, following a lockdown order by government to contain the spread of the Coronavirus on St. Maarten.

As the government continues to relax its containment measures, Management and staff of PJIAE are looking forward to resuming operations as soon as allowed by the Sint Maarten government.

Some airlines were already calling about resuming flights beginning May 2020 however, due to the local lockdown and St. Maarten’s readiness, they were informed that they would have to wait until the lockdown was lifted before a firm date could be given.

“We set a target for mid-June, to have everything in place to begin inviting airlines back to SXM. All we need now is the green light from government to open up and officially begin a planned, controlled, and phased return of airlines and passengers to our entry port,” says, airport CEO Mr. Brian Mingo.

Mr. Mingo informed that PJIAE established a special COVID-19 Task Force, to create preventative and mitigation measures, and is about to roll out all necessary non-pharmaceutical interventions to guarantee a safe corridor for the entire airport community.

The airport plan entails a first phase opening of flights to what PJIA considers the domestic islands (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius), and the other Caribbean islands with no Covid-19 cases including the formal hub partners of PJIA, which are Anguilla, and St. Barth’s. Other islands are being worked on as well.

A subsequent phase could cater to international airlines such as KLM/ Air France, and Air Caraibes, departing from Schiphol (Netherlands), Charles De Gaulle (France), and Orly (France). The third phase would be the USA, Canadian, and other remaining Caribbean destinations, followed by Latin America as the fourth phase.

During all the phases, there can be restricted countries, which would not be allowed travel to SXM, or with required procedures, depending on the government’s assessments of the situation pertaining to the containment of the virus.

Creating a safe corridor is essential to connect with airlines and other airports.

The plan PJIAE’s Task Force presented also calls for: • Continuous monitoring of safety protocols in coordination with airline and airport partners. • Implementation of airport safety protocols, including the mandatory use of face masks covering the mouth and nose. • An awareness program for social distance amongst passengers, employees, and all users. • Mass Fever screening stations. • Mandatory hand sanitizing stations positioned throughout the airport. • Regular sanitizing and disinfecting of hard surfaces throughout the day with deep cleaning and disinfecting regimens during low capacity hours. • High quality plexiglass barriers between front line staff and passengers. • Improved, increased, and sanitized fresh air through the ventilation system. • Isolation Rooms on premises, in case a passenger is suspected of being infected.

Other measures include the requiring of online Health Declaration Cards executed before being allowed to board a flight to and from St. Maarten. Based on regular discussions with the airlines, they have expressed satisfaction with the planned preventative and safety measures PJIAE put in place, and that these measures are aligned with their measures, covering the entire passenger journey while at SXM, from arrival at the curbside and up until the boarding process.

Much of this alignment is the result of conference calls, exchange of information, and best practices. “The fact is we all have to deal with the new reality of a COVID-19 pandemic, in everything we do, in close collaboration with airline partners, other airports and governments everywhere,” said Mr. Mingo.

Healthcare services, the hospitality and tourism industry, as well as our counterparts on French St. Martin, also form part of this consulting process. The “New Normal” will be a totally different travelling experience for passengers from the time they arrive at an airport to the time they reach their destination and return home.

“At all stages, passengers, employees and crew members will be required to undergo screening, adhere to sanitizing protocols and any other safety measures required by airlines or airports, such as wearing masks,” said Mr. Mingo.

The COVID-19 Task Force has been in constant contact with airport partners and airport authorities throughout the hibernation period to find out what the best practices might be for small airports like SXM with a high throughput of passenger traffic.

The Task Force has also worked closely with government departments so that there can be a coordinated approach of all sectors of the St. Maarten community once flights to the island resume.

Airport personnel who are part of the COVID-19 Task Force have been meeting practically every day to ensure all bases are covered when they reconnect with airlines and other airports in the coming weeks, with a target of being best in class when it comes to setting an example of airport safety in the midst of a global pandemic.

According to Mr. Mingo, one of the downsides of the recent lockdown on St. Maarten has been the anxiety and stress caused by being confined at home and the working at home experience, limiting our mobility and contact with the outside world.

Mr. Mingo further explained: “the truth is, while airlines are knocking on the door requesting a date for the airport’s opening, the public can be assured that all contingencies are in place in collaboration with government and other partners in the airline industry to ensure the re-opening of the airport is controlled, and offers the highest level of safety to everyone.”

Safety first - “We need to protect our destination St. Maarten”. To guard as best as we can, passengers coming to St. Maarten free of the COVID-19 infection, enjoying all the island has to offer, and to go home virus free with the story that our paradise St. Maarten is a safe place to travel. He says it is for this reason that the PJIAE Management Team and COVID-19 Task Force is working so closely with government and other stakeholders toward a date that is acceptable to everyone.

“We have collectively put together an intelligent and safe re-opening plan that is preventive and at the same time creates a safe environment for staff, the airport community and all stakeholders,” added the airport Chief.

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Government of St. Maarten Hosts Frontline Heroes Appreciation Tour

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The government of St. Maarten held their ‘Frontline Heroes Appreciation Tour’ today, May 29, 2020. Members of the Council of Ministers visited various entities that ensured the people of St. Maarten were kept safe at home.

These courageous persons provided the emergency and essential services that has been needed from the onset of the COVID-19 period and activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). At each location, the respective Minister, under which these entities fall, gave words of thanks for their commitments in ensuring that the government could mitigate and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.                       

The Ministers, accompanied by children who aspire to be in these various professions also presented them with a certificate of appreciation. Prime Minister Jacobs stated in an invited comment, “On behalf of the Council of Ministers, I’d like to say that we appreciate all the continuous efforts, the sleepless nights, the very long days and the level of commitment that each entity has brought forth at the beginning and during this period.

“We thank each of you for your dedication and service to the people of St. Maarten. In particular, a special thank you to the EOC and their support teams during government’s response to the COVID-19 virus.”

“As we continue to de-escalate, we ask the people of St. Maarten not to become complacent. We must continue to practice proper mask usage, hand washing with soap and water, and maintaining a 2 meter distance from others when out in public to ensure that our numbers continue to go down. Let us safeguard that the hard work that you, these front-liners, the EOC, and the government have done during the past 3 months, not be in vain.”

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Police force calling on owners of unclaimed & confiscated motorbikes

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Police Force is once again gearing up for a major cleanup at the Philipsburg police station in the month of June 2020, in light of the upcoming 2020 hurricane season.

Before doing so we would like to grant the opportunity to all persons who may have had their bikes confiscated, a two-week grace period to be able to collect their scooter/motorbike.

All persons will be allotted two weeks prior to the date listed, to claim their bikes with proper documentation.

A large number of scooters have been kept at the station. These scooters and motorbikes were taken out of circulation because they were being used in a way that was against the law, for instance, used without insurance, or because they had a technical problem.

Some of the motor bikes were collected by their owners after confiscation, but there is a large amount that still remain unclaimed at the station for quite some time now, the police said in a statement on Friday.

The police force would like to have these bikes returned to their rightful owners, as there is insufficient space to keep them in the yard.

If you know your bike or scooter is present at the police station, you can take it home with you if you can present the following documents: a proof of your identity (a driver's license, identity card or passport) and proof that you are the rightful owner of the scooter/motorbike.

You will also have to show proof of insurance and inspection for the scooter/motorbike.

If you can do so, your motorbike/scooter will be returned to you.

The days that persons can visit the police station in Philipsburg are:

  • Monday           June, 01th 2020
  • Wednesday     June, 03rd 2020
  • Friday             June, 05th 2020
  • Monday           June, 08th 2020
  • Wednesday     June, 10th 2020
  • Friday             June, 12th 2020

After June 12th, all bikes which have not been claimed will be destroyed.

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Phase 3 and 4 Economic Reopening Guidelines Available Online

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Government of Sint Maarten, hereby informs the community and all concerned that a number of new guidelines have been uploaded to the Government website related to the phase 3 and 4 reopening process of the national economy.

Phase 3 commences on June 1st and phase 4 on June 15th.

The guidelines are related to the following businesses that are deemed to have a high public health risk: Casinos; Adult entertainment establishments; Barbershops, beauty salons and spas; Bars and nightclubs; Churches and religious gatherings (including weddings and funerals); Cinemas and theatres; Indoor activities and recreational centers; Indoor sports facilities (gyms); Regulated (T-plates) and unregulated transport (G-plates).

As indicated prior, business and services mentioned in the aforementioned categories must submit their operational plans to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for approval prior to re-opening.

Though not deemed as high risk, guidelines have also been prepared for beach vendors and beachgoers.

Business and establishment owners are urged to monitor the following link regularly to new guidelines that have been added in relation to the reopening of the country: www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus; go to the “State of Emergency Update and Re-opening Guidelines” tab.

According to the Regulation of the Prime Minister of May 16, 2020, business and services allowed to resume operations must adhere to the guidelines, entitled ‘COVID-19 Prevention and Safety Plan for the Business Community of Sint Maarten,’ and must have their operational plans in place prior to opening to the public. Failure to do so, will result in closure of the business.

The Prevention and Safety Plan is on the government’s website at www.sintmaartengov.org, under the section National Laws & Gazette.

If you have questions or concerns, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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