St. Eustatius gradually scales down COVID-19 measures

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – The Public Entity St. Eustatius strongly advises Statian residents to remain cautious by taking personal responsibility (respecting hygiene guidelines, getting tested and vaccinated) while the government further eases the COVID-19 measures as of Tuesday February 1st, 2022. A maximum of 25 persons (instead of now 15) is allowed to be inside the restaurants and bars, or 50 percent of the full capacity. Dancing is still not allowed. Schools, day care centres and out of school organizations can allow 25 students per class instead of 15. The easing of measures is not yet appliable to supermarkets and non-essential businesses.

Gatherings will be once again possible as of February 1st, 2022. However, a maximum of 25 persons is allowed or 50% of the capacity of the venue. For indoor and outdoor sport activities a maximum gathering of 25 persons is also applicable. Both Government Commissioners repeat the call to the residents to get vaccinated and to get tested when not feeling well. “Considering the high number of infections, worldwide, and the contagiousness of the Omicron variant, it is impossible to get and keep Statia COVID free. Therefore, we have a shared responsibility to protect the vulnerable groups in our community. These are the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions,says Government Commissioner Alida Francis.

The virus is spread on the island, and it is expected that it will be around in the coming months. The overall vaccination percentage of the population is still too low, 50%. The risk during an outbreak is that non-vaccinated elderly and other vulnerable groups on our island run the risk of getting infected, so they should be protected. But we must also further ease the measures as these are a burden to our economy.


The pressure on the economy is another reason that the local government further eases the COVID-19 measures, while remaining cautious and taking steps to protect the population. This approach is aimed at keeping a balance between public health and economic development. Additional nursing staff provided through the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS) are now working on the island. The capacity in the health care sector is adequate. If needed, St. Maarten can accommodate patients from Statia as the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has enough capacity.  COVID-19 patients will be transferred to St. Maarten in case of deteriorating health in an early stage to assure the most optimal care. This is already the case these past weeks since the outbreak.

Also, Alida Francis says, the number of cases is stabilizing, the infections are less severe, and the symptoms are generally very mild. In addition, the number of persons needing hospital care is very low: less than 2 percent needed hospitalization up till now. The Government Commissioner further says that the population in general adheres well to the hygiene measures: wearing a face mask, keeping social distance and respecting the measures taken at public places such as restaurants, bars and supermarkets.

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