The authorities of one of the Lesser Antilles in France, Martinique, are introducing unprecedented measures in connection with the spread of the coronavirus. The “second phase of restrictive measures” involves the closure of beaches and the expulsion of tourists.
The decision was announced yesterday by the prefect Stanislas Kazel, urging “everyone who goes on vacation”, especially those belonging to vulnerable groups, “to leave” Martinique:
“We will move on to the second phase of restrictive measures (…).“ Stores will be closed, with the exception of those that sell food and pharmacies. Martinique in the French Antilles, which is still plagued by a wave of new cases of coronavirus, will enter a “second phase of restrictive measures”, which means, in particular, the closure of beaches and ordering tourists to leave for their territories. Hotels will be closed unless the needs of professionals and permanent residents are being catered for, the same applies to rented rooms. School supplies stores will be able to reopen when “health improves.” Companies and public administrations are also encouraged to participate in these restrictive efforts and to organize their services so that as many of their employees as possible can work remotely. ”
The prefect also clarified that cultural and entertainment establishments will be closed, including beaches that “will no longer be available to the public.” Residents of the island will be allowed to move no more than 1 km from their place of residence.
In consolation, Mr Kazel said the measures “will be canceled when health conditions permit,” and will be revised “in 15 days.” Olivier Veran, French Minister of Health, will arrive on the island on Thursday.
Martinique has one of the highest incidence rates in the country – 1200 infected per 100,000 inhabitants. Hospitals are overcrowded. Less than 22% of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus.