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Sint Maarten Imposes ‘Partial Lockdown,’ No One Back In For 2 Weeks

PHILIPSBURG — The Netherlands government said it has a responsibility to protect the safety and health of the people of Sint Maarten. “These are extraordinary times.”

The country is in a partial lockdown and therefore measures will be taken as part of the Government of Sint Maarten’s preparedness, response and mitigation in connection with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Travel Restrictions

Air Travel

As of Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m., was the last day for the residents (passengers) of Sint Maarten to travel back to the country for the next two weeks.

Therefore, no airlines will be bringing in residents or persons during the next two weeks. The only flights that you will see coming into the airport would be cargo flights or flights that are coming in to pick up passengers to return them to their home countries.

Ships and Other Maritime Craft

The travel restrictions for shippers and mariners went into effect as of March 24 11:59 p.m. American Standard Time. After this date NO foreign vessels (exemptions applied) will be allowed in the territorial waters of Sint Maarten until further notice.

This includes but is not limited to; Pleasure vessels, Fishing vessels, Passenger Vessels, Huckster boats, Mega Yachts, Sailing Yachts, Catamarans, etc.

Applicable Exemptions are as follows:

1.      Locally registered leisure vessels are permitted to operate in the waters of Sint Maarten providing that there are four or less persons (including captain) on board.

2.      Fishing vessels from Saba and St. Eustatius are allowed entry into the territorial waters of Sint Maarten BUT should contact the Immigration Department prior to arrival.

3.      Other trade between Sint Maarten, SABA and St. Eustatius that takes place via water transport will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

4.      Large Cargo vessels, Bulk carriers, Bunker Barges/-vessels will be allowed only if the relevant procedures are followed and approval is given by the pertinent authorities who will closely monitor these activities to ensure their adherence.

5.      Bunkering and or provisioning may ONLY be permitted for vessels of 500GT and larger that are passing through Sint Maarten on-route to another destination. This service will only be made available at Port St. Maarten where each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  At no time are crew or captain allowed to leave the vessel. Bunkering and or provisioning will NOT be allowed to take place at the other marinas or docking locations on island unless the vessel is already docked at a facility that provides such. ‘Social Distancing’ should always be adhered to.  

6.      Locally registered passenger vessels including ferries may be used by the company and or owners for personal use only and cease all commercial activities until further notice.


The following measures have been taken in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Therefore, the following measures have been implemented in relation to business closures, which went into effect on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Businesses that are allowed to remain open to the public:

o       Hotels and guest houses, including on-site amenities;

o       Yachting agents;

o       Emergency, Paramedic & Medical laboratory services;

o       Medical practitioners & Dental clinics (for emergencies services);

o       Pharmacies & Pharmaceutical suppliers.

o       Gas stations and Suppliers of fuel (ULG, Diesel etc.) & LPG Distributors (cooking gas);

o       Banks;

o       Insurance companies, limited to back office administration and online/ mobile services;

o       Hardware stores;

o       Shipping & Cargo companies;

o       Grocery stores;

o       Restaurants and food vendors (take-out and delivery services only);

o       Bakeries (take-out and delivery services only);

o       Essential Gov’t services, incl. telecommunication, judicial, utilities and postal services.

o       Notarial services

o       Funeral services

o       Media outlets

o       Cleaning services and garbage collection

o       Laundry services

o       Public transportation operators;

o       Construction of Social Projects may also continue

All other businesses must be closed to the public but may offer online/mobile ordering and delivery services to clients.

1.      All businesses must be closed on Sundays and holidays, with the exception of pharmacies, retailers of cooking gas, gas stations and hotels/ guesthouses, incl. on-site amenities catered to guests only.

2.      Businesses that are allowed to open, must be closed by 6.00 pm on all other days (Mon-Sat), with the exception of hotels/ guesthouses, which may maintain their regular operating hours.

The above-mentioned operating hours also applies to businesses with permits to open for extended hours or 24 hours.

Beach Activities

Beaches will remain open and accessible to the public; however, no beach parties/ gatherings are allowed. Beach parties/ gatherings are considered gatherings of more than five persons in one group.  Furthermore, the renting of chairs, umbrellas, water sports equipment and the provision of other beach activities is prohibited until further notice.

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