PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Honorable Prime Minister and Chairlady of the EOC of St. Maarten, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, would like to inform the General Public & Stakeholders in particular, that the Cruise line Aida Diva was denied permission to berth at St. Maarten due to lack of proper procedures being followed during the course of the last 24 hours, as per agreed upon protocols.
The Aida Diva was expected to make a call on Port of St. Maarten today, March 5th, 2020, however, proper and existing protocol was not followed. The relevant Government department, namely CPS (Collective Prevention Service) was not provided with the relevant Health Declaration forms in a timely manner, and what had been provided was incomplete.
Up to 11:40p.m., last evening, the usual & complete Health Declarations were not received. Consequently, CPS informed all relevant parties, (i.e. the Agent of the Ship) that the Aida Diva would NOT be allowed to berth in St. Maarten, upon directive of Prime Minister Jacobs.
It was not until 2 hours later, at 2:06 a.m. that all the relevant information was sent. Naturally, this hour of the day/morning, it certainly considered highly inappropriate to allow for providing the regular, required and pertinent information in order to provide a decision for the ship to come into St. Maarten. The last update should be no later than 6 hours ahead of berthing time.
“Considering the decision of the email correspondence of 11:40pm, whereby my decision as Prime Minister was already communicated, I was completely taken aback to understand that the ship still continued to berth in St. Maarten,” said Prime Minister Jacobs.
Prime Minister Jacobs contacted the CPS department and the Port to obtain clarity as to why her decision to deny berthing was ignored and how this breach of protocol occurred. Consequently, the Ministry of TEATT was informed and communication was exchanged to understand where, how and why the decision of the Prime Minister was not executed. After clarity was given, the Ministry of TEATT, sent an email to the Port of St. Maarten informing them that the execution of the decision of the Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs would take place with immediate effect and without further delay. Management of the port confirmed via private communication to the Prime Minister and in writing to the Ministry of TEATT that this would be executed forthwith. Later a request was made via the handler/agent for the ship to be able to refuel before departing, which permission has been granted by the Prime Minister Jacobs.