Published On: Sat, May 9th, 2020

Government to implement phased de-escalation of the lockdown

PHILIPSBURG — As of Monday, May 11, the government will be implementing a phased approach to the de-escalation process. Essential businesses and some other businesses will be allowed to open from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays, only deliveries will be allowed. On Sunday all businesses must remain closed. This approach to the de-escalation of the lockdown will be done across four phases until mid-June. This is subject to the number of COVID-19 cases continuing on the downward trend it is presently on.

The key messages taken away from the address of the Prime Minister and the coordinators of the various Emergency Support Function heads participating in the press briefing are:

⁃ The state of emergency will remain in place after May 17 while the step by step reopening takes place;
⁃ Curfew continues from 8 pm until 6 am;
⁃ Today marks 11 days without any new COVID-19 cases;
⁃ A patient in the ICU tent sadly passed away, he had underlying medical conditions;
⁃ Over 5.000 persons have been visited by CPS in 14 neighborhoods; in all those days only 21 were found with respiratory symptoms and were tested; all were negative, except one (however, this one positive case is from more than 11 days ago);
⁃ Reopening of businesses will go hand in hand with strict COVID-19 prevention measures (hand hygiene, social distancing, frequent cleaning of surfaces, etc.);
⁃ First phase of reopening starts this week (May 11) and the following businesses may reopen, 5 days a week on Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm: construction, renting of heavy equipment, restaurants for pick-up, delivery and drive through, financial services, insurances, home and auto repair, textiles (seamstress, tailors, shoe repair), daycare centers, accounting firms, landscaping firms. Curbside pick-up is allowed for auto and marine parts and hardware stores;
⁃ Phase 2 will start on May 18 and will have more businesses and services opening, for example, public transportation, walk-in shopping at hardware stores etc. (details pending);
⁃ Phase 3 is now scheduled to start on June 1st and in that phase hairdressers and barbers are to open;
⁃ During the different reopening phases repatriation of persons to SXM will also take place (for example students that are overseas and want to return home). Upon return they must quarantine in a special facility for this, so not at home;
⁃ As of Monday, May 11, there is no more zoning, so everyone can go on each side of the hill on the 5 shopping days. The supermarkets will also be open 5 days a week. From 8-10 am is reserved for seniors, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities.

The de-escalation process will also be done in collaboration with the Government’s counterparts on the French side.

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Watch the full broadcast online here>>>