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366 New Cases Of COVID-19 Force Sint Maarten To Go To ‘Code Orange,’ Restricting Only Essential Travel To SXM

THE HAGUE — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands raised its travel advisory for Sint Maarten from yellow to orange this weekend. People are urged to only travel to and from the island for urgent reasons.

The ministry decided to advise against vacation travel to Sint Maarten and to recommend only travelling to the island if absolutely necessary, due to the increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the past week.

Per August 1, a total of 58 active cases were reported. Travelers from Sint Maarten arriving in the Netherlands are urgently advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Some 40 Sint Maarten students who are arriving on a Royal Dutch Airlines KLM flight tomorrow morning will be tested before they board the flight. This is to avoid being quarantined so the students can participate in an orientation program.

Sint Maarten is the first Dutch Caribbean island for which Foreign Affairs has issued code orange. “Non-essential travel to Sint Maarten is advised against due to the large increase in the number of COVID-19 contaminations and the associated risk,” Foreign Affairs said on its website on Sunday.

In case of travelling to Sint Maarten for urgent reasons, passengers must fill in a health declaration prior to traveling, via the website: https://stmaartenentry.com/

They must also submit a negative result of a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test obtained no more than 72 hours prior to departure and have travel insurance. Passengers are advised to stay informed via the website: https://stmaartenupdates.com/

The travel advisory of Foreign Affairs for Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao is yellow, meaning that passengers should be aware of safety risks. Last week, Curaçao already issued a negative travel advisory for Sint Maarten.

Some 366 additional people tested positive for COVID-19, according to preliminary data from public health agency RIVM revealed on Sunday and audited by Dutch broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. Daily data updates from the agency showed that the Netherlands added 2,152 more infections for the week, from Monday through Sunday.

Over that time period there was an average of 307 infections per day, a 76 percent increase over the previous week. On Saturday, the Netherlands released a daily update to statistics showing 431 new admissions, the most since May 7 and nearly the same amount as in the entire first week of July.

There were 91 people being treated in Dutch hospitals on Sunday for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus disease. It included 70 people outside of the ICU, an increase of three, and 21 people in intensive care, a decrease of one.

Leading acute care expert Ernst Kuipers said that the COVID-19 situation in hospitals has remained mostly “unchanged and fairly stable.”

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