The Daily Herald – Travel restrictions in effect for South Africa

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PHILIPSBURG – VSA Public Health, Social Development and Labor Minister Omar Ottley said travel restrictions from South Africa will come into effect from today, Monday, November 29, and that from new entry requirements for the Netherlands will follow.

Ottley said he sent a request to restrict flights and passengers arriving or traveling from South Africa within 14 days. This decision was based on the new COVID-19 variant, which could show immune evasion and improved transmissibility.

According to the St. Martin’s Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) website, other countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique – are also subject to these travel restrictions. .

The new variant has caused an increase in cases in many countries, including the Netherlands. “During discussions with Dutch representatives, I was informed that the major increase in hospitalizations in the Netherlands was due to this new variant,” said Ottley. “This information motivated me to change the entry requirements for travelers from the Netherlands.”

From Monday, December 6, fully vaccinated travelers from the Netherlands will need to upload proof of a negative PCR test dated within 48 hours before traveling to Saint Martin, or a nasal swab test from the Netherlands. Antigen less than 24 hours old will also be accepted from vaccinated travelers only. Unvaccinated travelers are required to submit a negative PCR test no later than 48 hours before traveling to Saint-Martin.

This will also apply to travelers from Germany, UK, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, from Monaco, Bulgaria, Bolivia and Trinidad and Tobago.

“At the moment our active cases, hospitalizations and deaths in St. Maarten have decreased significantly and it is our duty to remain proactive and do our best to mitigate the spread of the Mu variant,” said Ottley.

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