Panneflek announces protocol for today’s repatriation flight; says recent COVID-19 cases not imported

July 18, 2020 3:10 pm

PHILIPSBURG — The Honorable Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Richard Panneflek announces that today, July 18, 2020, a repatriation flight is expected with 125 students and residents who have been stuck abroad for a long time.

The flight has been arranged with Spirit Airlines for students and residents to return to St. Maarten, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Relations (DBB), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (ECYS), and the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT). The flight will depart from Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and arrive at Princess Juliana International Airport at 1:30 PM.

Persons returning on this flight who have a valid PCR test taken within the last 72 hours will be required to upload their results at Persons who have no valid PCR test within the required 72 hours will be PCR tested at the airport upon arrival. Persons who test positive are required to go into isolation and will be monitored by their family physician and the Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS).

Due to the fact that the incubation period of the virus ranges between 2- 14 days, persons who test negative upon arrival, along with those having a valid Negative PCR test taken within the last 72 hours, MUST remain in quarantine for 14 days. If these persons do develop symptoms, they are advised to contact their family physician for further instructions.

The Minister of VSA’s main goal is to keep the population safe and minimize the number of COVID-19 cases. Therefore, the Minister of VSA is pleading with the public to be vigilant in adhering to the prevention guidelines, as the current COVID-19 cases were NOT imported. Persons are reminded that everyone should play their part in washing hands frequently with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing, and wearing masks/face coverings and face shields.