PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of public health, social development and labor, Omar Ottley announced during press briefing that as of November 1, 2021, fully vaccinated persons will no longer require a COVID-19 test to enter St Maarten; this will only be applicable for travelers that are fully vaccinated with the approved vaccines of the RIVM and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The minister went on to state that this is something that the ministry has been monitoring for some time, and with proven research has decided to proceed in this direction.
Research has shown that the viral load of a fully vaccinated person, who is infected with COVID-19, lowers much faster than a person that is unvaccinated. This means that while there are a few breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated persons, the chances of these persons spreading the virus or becoming severely ill is tremendously low.
The minister stated that the vaccine allows your body to fight the virus once the infection moves from the nasal cavity and into the bloodstream. Severe illness is avoided by being vaccinated, as your body will be better prepared to fight the virus.
On St Maarten, there is a recorded 1.6 percent death rate, in which 0.04 percent were fully vaccinated. A similar percentage is recorded for the number of fully vaccinated hospitalizations. “This shows that the vaccine is
highly effective and we can move towards allowing fully vaccinated persons to enter without requiring a test” said Ottley.
Minister Ottley announced that his short term plan is to also develop the COVID-19 recovery Digital COVID-19 Certificate (DCC), which allows persons to register their past infections and show proof of natural immunity.