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Leniency regulation if overstaying free period ends on first of July

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - Due to the travel restrictions that were introduced on the 14th of March 2020 in connection with the COVID-19 crisis, there are people who were, at the time, forced to overstay the free period.

Therefore, earlier the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar), the Immigration and Naturalisation Service Unit CN (IND-CN) and the Public Prosecutions Office BES (OM BES) have jointly applied a leniency regulation for the group of people who, through no fault of their own, overstayed in the Caribbean Netherlands. Now that the travel restrictions have been lifted for quite some time, the leniency scheme will be abolished completely on the 1st of July 2021.

The free period applies to people who are not residents of the Caribbean Netherlands. They can stay in the Caribbean Netherlands for a certain period of time without a residence permit or a declaration of legal status. The length of this period depends on the nationality of the person and the country in which the person lives. If someone overstays the free period, then this person can be fined at the exit check.

Non-residents of the Caribbean Netherlands who, on the 14th of March 2020, were still within their free period of stay in the Caribbean Netherlands, but were unable to leave due to the introduced travel restrictions, were not fined under the leniency regulation upon departure if the free period had been overstayed during the period of the travel restrictions. For, among others, Dutch citizens and citizens of the United States, it has been possible to return to their country of origin for some time now. Now that it is also possible for other nationalities to return, the leniency regulation will be abolished completely.

The abolition of the leniency regulation means for all non-residents that as from the 1st of July 2021 overstaying of non-residents on Bonaire, Saba or St. Eustatius will no longer be condoned. The various services in the immigration chain will then resume operations in accordance with the generally applicable legislation and regulations. The amount of the fine for overstaying the free period increases as the duration of the overstay becomes longer. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Motorworld Sponsors Six Months of Membership Fees for Members of the Youth Brigade

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Voice of the Youth St. Maarten (VOTYS) is a non-profitable organization, founded to address the lack of educational and social activities for the youth.

The organization in itself focuses on assisting in the development of young people in the social, economic, cultural, and governmental areas by offering diverse educational programs.

One of such programs is the St. Maarten Youth Brigade, which targets a diverse range of youths from those who are “At Risk” to those who are “Over-Achievers”. The age range for youths that are eligible to join the organization is 12-21 years old. 

The St. Maarten Youth Brigade works together with their partners such as VKS, Police Force, Red Cross, Fire Department, Coast Guard and the Dutch Marines, and in this way, builds the self-confidence and discipline of the youth through physical, mental, as well as cognitive training.

“A child rejected by its community most times will end up in a devastating situation. That often only gets worse as the child grows to become an adult. In order for us to combat that child resorting to destructive behavior, we as members of the community are all responsible for the connection, love and guidance of that child. Not only this individual, but every other child growing up on Sint Maarten,” shares Nelly Blaise, Project Leader, St. Maarten Youth Brigade.

In order to support the SYB Program and allow the VOTYS to continue to positively develop the community of St. Maarten, Motorworld has pledged to sponsor the membership fees of all currently active members for a period of 6 months. This serves to directly relieve the burdens of the members and their parents who are now facing financial difficulties after Hurricane Irma and as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“As a company, it is important to us to give back to the community as much as possible. The SYB positively develops our future workforce and leaders here on the island, so that is definitely an initiative that we are more than happy to be behind and support,” shares Managing Director, Motorworld Group of Companies, Tariq Amjad.

In addition to the sponsorship of the membership fees of the Youth Brigaders, Management and Staff of Motorworld will also be working together with the VOTYS to become incorporated into the Mentorship program where staff can serve to encourage the youth and help to guide them into their respective career paths.  

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Malinda Hassell is Saba’s new Tourism Director

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - The Public Entity recently welcomed its new Director of the Saba Tourist Office Malinda Hassell. Hassell, who is of Saba descent, in August will officially succeed Glenn Holm who will go on pension.

Hassell has an extensive 12+ years background involving the intricacies of destination marketing, tourism board processes, developing distribution strategies, and generating market demand for different destinations. A collective history that has positioned her to become the attributed directive asset she is today.

Hassell brings a wealth of experience, having worked at the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association (AHATA) and the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA). At the TCB, she worked as the Marketing Manager, leading the marketing team, enhancing destination marketing strategies, and strengthening dynamic business relationships.

Her next lateral move consisted of becoming AHATAs Communications Manager, an experience that sharpened her marketing communication skills and understanding of a hotel association and private sector partner dynamics.

Hassell was also the Destination Marketing Manager at Dominica’s tourism authority DDA, overseeing aspects of headquarter marketing, and developing marketing campaign activations including a multifaceted global digital awareness campaign. Along with leading several PR firms within various countries, while adapting to post-covid industry recovery challenges.

“It’s an honor to be appointed Director of Tourism for Saba, the island of my roots. With my knowledge and expertise, I look forward to contributing towards the success of Saba’s sustainable tourism development during a post-covid economic and industry recovery, by developing and achieving the goals and future action plans needed in collaboration with the stakeholders, industry partners, and the Saba Government. The friendly community, the unspoiled queen feeling, gastronomy, and nature (above and below water) make Saba a strong and attractive tourism niche product and brand to be repositioned within the trade, consumer, and media platforms,” said Hassell.

The new tourism director speaks four different languages, English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento, and holds a degree in Tourism Marketing and Consultancy from the Breda University of Applied Sciences of the Netherlands.

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“Hiking on St. Eustatius” a Tropical Open-Air Museum by Author Marion Schroen

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Sint Eustatius is a Dutch island in the Caribbean. This special municipality has an enormous variation in nature and is worth putting on your bucket list. Marion Schroen has explored the island extensively and shares her passion in the newly published book Hiking on St. Eustatius, English version. June 19, 2021, the book signing took place at the building, formerly known as Mazinga on the Bay, at Oranjebaai on St. Eustatius.

In less than six month the very much wanted translated version in English is a fact. This could not have been possible without the help of all the sponsors on St. Eustatius, private sponsors, and the government.

The book is for anyone who wants to walk or run on this small island and delve into the broader context of this tropical open-air museum, where the past reveals itself with every step.

Whether you are a hiker or an armchair adventurer, a lover of fortresses or nature, come for work or vacation, have an hour or a whole day, are a beginner or advanced; don't pass up the opportunity to experience this impressive beauty and diversity. Marion Schroen is a lover of hiking and running. She knows all the nooks and crannies of the island and makes you a personal participant in the hike-lights of Statia as the island is also called.

The book ‘Hiking on St. Eustatius. A tale of love and friendship’ contains background information about St. Eustatius, describes 22 walks in which the author shares personal stories and gives tips about hiking and trail running in the tropical climate. Free GPS tracks of the routes are also available.

Both the Dutch and English version can be ordered via www.anoda.nl in The Netherlands and via the author. Both versions are also for sale on St. Eustatius at the Museum, the tourist office, the Gem store, the dive shops Scubaqua and Golden Rock Dive Center and of course at Stenapa.

On Sint Maarten both versions will be for sale from the end of June 2021 at the shipwreckshops in the Departure Hall at the airport and in Philipsburg.

On Curaçao the book is for sale at the newspaper Amigoe and at the Bruna bookstore.

From the beginning of next month, the English version also will be available via amazon.com.

Of course, the book is also available via the author (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

SEU NEW BOOK AUTHOR AND NATL PARK REP

Author Marion Schroen and A. Mitchell (R) from the St. Eustatius Natural Parks.

SEU NEW BOOK FRPG

 

 

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Commemeration slavery past and emancipation

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - The national commermoration of the Dutch slavery past is a national event that takes place on the 1st of July. On July 1st 1863 the Dutch State started with the phased abolition of slavery in the West-Indian colonies.

In that time there were about 12.000 enslaved persons on the Antillean islands. The abolition of slavery and the emancipation of the former slaves is also of relevance for the history and community of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

This year the public entity Bonaire is organizing an islandwide commemoration in cooperation with the ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).

The activities include a historical hike on June 26th with Boi Antoin to landhuis Yato Baco and a film evening with the film Sombra di koló (from film maker Angela Roe) with live music by Grupo Ashé. Access to the activities will be free but due to the limited number of seats it is wise to register early.

The programme for the Public Entity Sint Eustatius includes vafious competitions for students (coloring, poetry and writing essays) and the programme on July 1st includes a ceremonial commemoration and various events, such as “old time lunch”.

For more information

More information about the planned activities can be found on the Facebook page of the Public Entity Bonaire and for St. Eustatius on de Facebook page Government of Sint Eustatius. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Police makes several arrests for various offenses on June 17

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - A man with initials S.N.P.I. was arrested in the vicinity of Fort Willem around 12:45pm on June 17. It appeared that the suspect had entered his victim's residence and ill-treated the victim with a baseball bat.

During the attack, the victim suffered a fractured arm and several other injuries. The victim was then taken to the hospital where he was treated and send home.

Not long after returning home from St. Maarten Medical Center, the victim was attacked for a second time by the suspect who was still in the area. In the course of this second attack, the suspect also vandalized the windows of the neighbors. The suspect was arrested and is held in the Phillipsburg Police Station pending further investigation.

Police Central Dispatch received a call about 2:40 pm on Thursday afternoon regarding two young men who were in the process of stealing parts from a car parked in Cay Bay.

The patrol officers found the duo busy dismantling a car parked by the roadside. When questioned about what they were doing, the suspects with initials M.J. and M.S. acknowledged that the vehicle did not belong to them.

They were immediately arrested by the patrol. The suspects are held in the Phillipsburg Police Station pending further investigation.

The young man with initial V.A.P. for whom an arrest warrant was issued was arrested a week ago, was apprehended by Police on June 17 around 6:00pm in Union Farm Estate.

It appears that the suspect’s mother had filed a complaint a week earlier against her son after he assaulted her and destroyed several items in the house after an argument.

The suspect is held in the Phillipsburg Police Station pending further investigation. (KPSM)

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Traffic Alert: Disruption in Traffic Flow near Nazareth Road Dutch Quarter on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), announces there will be an interruption with the traffic flow on the A.T. Illidge road in Dutch Quarter in the proximity to Nazareth Road on Saturday, June 19 from 7:00 AM until 12:00 PM.

Motorists are advised to be vigilant and observant of the traffic diversion directional signs.

Motorists coming from French Quarter and Belvedere will use the Bishop Road, Sucker Garden Road and/or Middle Region Road to get to their desired locations.

Motorists coming from Madam Estate to Dutch Quarter will use the Middle Region Road and continue on to their intended venue.

The road closure is in connection with the maintenance of the sewage pump pit.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

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STATIA COULD RECEIVE 100 JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINES IF UNVACCINATED STATIANS ARE INTERESTED

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The Public Entity St. Eustatius can offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if at least 100 persons register for this vaccine. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands (VWS) has indicated that they will send a batch of at least 100 Johnson & Johnson vaccines if sufficient Statians are interested.

Registration for this is possible until July 15, 2021. Compared to the Moderna vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson is a single shot vaccine while Moderna consists of 2 doses. The expiry date of the current stock of Moderna is September 2nd, 2021.

As it is not cost effective to send smaller batches of the vaccine, VWS can only guarantee 100 vaccines for now. This means that persons who are interested in getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should register as soon as possible.

Moderna

The second round of vaccinations with the Moderna vaccine is coming to an end. Registration for Moderna is still possible through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before the 4th of August, 2021. In this case the first doses can be provided on a Wednesday before the 4th of August, 2021 and the second shot before the expiry date of September 2nd, 2021. If a person prefers to receive the Moderna vaccine, registration must be done soon.

Very high risk countries

Since last Monday, June 15th 2021, a new entry policy applies. The new policy entails the introduction of a list of very high risk countries. This list is already in place for the Netherlands and consists of mainly Asian and South and Central American countries. For Statia, the most relevant countries in this category are the United Kingdom, because of the Delta variant which is spreading there. In addition, the Dominican Republic and Suriname are now considered to be very high risk countries due to the Gamma variant. For those countries, the principle for non-vaccinated persons does not change. If they want to enter Statia, they must go into quarantine for a period of 10 days and should have a valid PCR test before arrival. A rapid antigen test at the end of the quarantine period will be taken.

For vaccinated persons coming from very high risk countries the rules are now stricter. Vaccinated persons coming from these countries must go into full quarantine for a period of 5 days, a valid PCR test is required before arrival on Statia and a rapid antigen test will be taken at the end of the quarantine. The Public Health Department will strictly evaluate the places where persons from very high risk countries go in quarantine to assure that a good separation is achieved.

The Public Health Department will not allow essential workers from very high risk countries to work under a protocol during their quarantine period.

Meanwhile, this risk based approach gives the Public Entity St. Eustatius the ability to go on with its opening process for the countries with a more positive development.

Low risk countries

More countries in Europe, but also countries close to Statia, became low risk countries recently. In most cases there is no direct flight from these low risk countries to Statia. St. Maarten is still a high risk country. Travelling from a low risk country through St. Maarten is a risk because the traveler can be exposed to the COVID-19 virus during the travel. This is the reason that the Public Health Department has set a norm for the transfer from a low risk country to Statia through high risk countries. If a traveler has a stopover of less than 5 hours in a high risk country, he or she is perceived as someone who comes from a low risk country upon entry in Statia. If the stop-over is longer than 5 hours, the traveler will be treated upon entry as if he or she visited a high risk country.

Children

The age limit for children from vaccinated parents who do not need to go into quarantine was lowered to 6 years in the new entry policy. It was concluded that the previous age limit of 12 years was too high as they will have interaction with other children when they are not in quarantine. This is especially the case in the holiday season when schools are closed. The children need to go into quarantine for 5 days upon arrival in Statia. (Statia GIS)

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Training of Safety & Emergency Teams of schools commences

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Training of Safety & Emergency Teams (SETs) of elementary and secondary schools on St. Maarten starts on June 17, 2021 under the auspices of the Student Support Services Division and supported by UNICEF Netherlands.

In 2018, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) developed the “Safety and Emergency Response Guidelines for Schools” with the support of UNICEF Netherlands. This document provides guidance for disaster safety planning in schools, emphasizing the work to be carried out by School Safety Teams (SETs). It also outlines the do’s and don’ts before and during emergencies, suggesting possible steps for various hazards. SETs went on to draft their school safety & emergency plans under the guidance of the Student Support Services Division and with the support of UNICEF Netherlands.

The 1-day “Safe School Virtual Training” is aimed to support School Safety Teams in the implementation of the guidelines, providing basic disaster risk management knowledge as well as guidance on carrying out risk assessment and develop or update school safety & emergency plans.

At the end of the training, participants will be able to recognize the importance of school safety; differentiate the concepts of hazards, vulnerability, risk and resources as they relate to disaster risk management; apply tools to assess school safety of a given facility; and develop or update a School Safety & Emergency Plan.

This series of 1-day training sessions will be take place during the month of June and two days in August, to allow for the participation of the 24 SETs. School Teams were requested to select the date of their choice and register online for the training. The SSSD is quite pleased that 21 teams have registered.

The Head of SSSD and school safety focal point, Mrs. Olga Mussington-Service, stated that is so important that the SETs be given the tools they need and this training is another step in that direction. “We have a group of dedicated school staff & teachers who are committed to school safety and continue to go beyond the call of duty. I am so pleased that with the support of UNICEF Netherlands, we have been able to realize another aspect of our plan to elevate school safety on St. Maarten.”

Mussington-Service, who is also the acting chair of the Safety & Emergency Management Committee of MECYS, added that the SEMC continues to roll-out its plan together with MECYS stakeholders and with the support of entities such as UNICEF Netherlands. For the SEMC of MECYS it is not solely about Hurricanes but we are preparing our sectors for all possible hazards.

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Renewed procedure for establishing a new school in the Caribbean Netherlands

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - The recently introduced law ‘Meer Ruimte voor Nieuwe Scholen’ (More Room for New Schools) has been in force in the Caribbean Netherlands (CN) since June 1st.

This law modernizes the rules for establishing new primary and secondary schools. More attention is being paid to whether there is sufficient interest in a new school and whether it can offer sufficient quality.

Everyone in the Caribbean Netherlands is allowed to set up a school with education according to their own religion and/or philosophy of life. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) monitors the quality of education and funds public and special education in the CN.

The Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) (Education Executive Agency) is responsible for funding the new school. Conditions apply for this. In addition to a new school (for primary or secondary education), it is also possible to set up a new branch of an existing secondary school.

For more information

For more information about the procedures and conditions for establishing a new school, visit the website of OCW in the Caribbean Netherlands: https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/education-culture-science under the menu item ‘Set up a new school’. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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