SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Minister of Public Health Hon. Omar Ottley hereby announces that as of January 10th, 2022, there will be an increase in inspections for compliance with COVID-19 protocols within the business sector.
Inspections will be carried out on both daytime and night-time businesses, to ensure that the established guidelines are being followed.
With the increase in the number of positive cases of the Omicron variant, it is imperative that these guidelines are followed stringently.
Businesses found to be in violation of these protocols will be fined by the Inspectorate. Multiple offenses will and can lead to closure of establishments.
“These protocols have been implemented since 2020 after the lockdown, in order for businesses to recommence operations in a safe manner.
It appears that many businesses have strayed away from the set protocols over time. This is also contributing to an increase in the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community" said Ottley.
Minister Ottley would once again like to remind the community of the protocols that have been created to maintain a healthy environment for employees and patrons alike.
- Mask wearing (preferred surgical or N95 masks).
- Hand washing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or sanitizing with a solution containing 70% minimum alcohol.
- Social distancing of 1.5 meters.
- Ensure proper ventilation and ventilation systems where air circulates when indoors.
- Knowing your status by getting tested at the local labs, including approved self-tests sold by local pharmacies.
- Vaccination against the COVID-19. All persons who are eligible to receive the vaccine, including the booster dose should visit CPS or call 914 for more information. The booster dose can be taken three months after receiving the second dose.
Workplace / Indoor venues and businesses
For example, banks, law firms, accounting firms, consulting firms, insurance companies, government offices, churches, gyms, hair salons, barbershops, cinemas, theaters, supermarkets, nightclubs etc.
- Follow basic measures.
- Sanitization stations should be made available to visitors.
- Temperature checks upon entry to establishments.
- Employees that have tested positive for COVID-19, must remain in isolation for the period advised by CPS.
- Employees with symptoms associated with COVID-19 including and the flu/cold must report this to the institution and remain at home and report to their physician.
- If an employee gets sick at work, send them home immediately, following cleaning and disinfect of surfaces.
- Staggered breaks and shifts where possible.
- Encourage digital transactions and cashless payments where applicable.
- Employers can request periodic COVID-19 testing of employees (AB 2021 no. 44)
- Patrons/ visitors should be limited to 50%.
- Visitors to restaurants and nightclubs should be masked unless consuming food and beverage.
- Nightclubs can request proof of negative COVID-19 test upon entry to establishment
Large scale events:
- Events will be cancelled until further notice.
Nighttime business hours restriction
Business curfew has been restricted from January 5th, 2022, in a phased approach, this restriction will be enforced until further notice and will be adjusted accordingly.
4 - 7 hospitalizations (20%), business hours scale back to 1:00 am.
If hospitalization should later decrease to less than four (4) patients for a period of two weeks, then the time would be reverted.
8 or more hospitalizations (40%), business hours scale back to 11:00 pm.
If hospitalizations should decrease to less than eight (8) patients for a period of two weeks, then the time would be adjusted accordingly.
Effective January 1, 2022, all countries will be classified as very high risk until further notice with COVID-19 test requirements.
Based on the vaccination status:
fully vaccinated with booster shot received. Booster shot should be at least 2 weeks old and not exceed 9 months since administered: no COVID-19 test required.
- fully vaccinated 18 years and older without booster shot: 48 hours rt-PCR or 24 hours Antigen test required.
- fully vaccinated older than 5 years and younger than 18 years without booster shot: no COVID-19 test required.
- non -vaccinated: 48 hours rt-PCR test only.
For further details of the COVID-19 guidelines within your sector, please click the link below: