International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

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Sint Maarten Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Sint Maarten - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Sint Maarten.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. There have been reports of theft from vehicles, especially rental cars. Armed robberies and tourists being followed by people on motorcycles have also been reported. Burglaries and break-ins are common at resorts, beach houses, and hotels.

  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution, especially at night.
  • Avoid isolated or poorly-lit areas, including beaches.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended on the beach
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewellery
  • Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe

Public transportation

Mini-buses are used mainly by the local workforce and can be over-crowded. They service most major locations on both sides of the island.

Taxis are plentiful and service the entire island.

  • Use registered taxis only
  • Negotiate the price before entering, as taxis don’t use meters

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Caribbean airlines provide inter-island service.

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Entry and exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

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Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and encompasses approximately half of the island of Saint Martin. It is referred to as the “Dutch side”. The other side is a "Collectivité territoriale" of France named Saint Martin.

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Dutch authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Sint Maarten. Permanent residents of Canada must travel with their Permanent Resident Card and a valid passport from their country of origin.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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Visas

Tourist visa: not required (for stays of up to 3 months)
Business visa: not required
Work permit: required
Student visa: required

All tourists who wish to stay longer than their allotted time can request an extension; however, the possibilities to obtain an extension may differ for those travellers requiring visas.

Health insurance

Tourists who have received an extension of stay are required to have health insurance valid for the duration of the extended stay.

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay. They may also ask you to provide the precise address of your accommodation in Sint Maarten before you enter the country. 

Upon arrival at Princess Juliana International Airport, you must present a fully completed immigration form to immigration authorities. These forms are generally handed out in the plane before landing.

There are no border formalities when crossing St. Maarten from the Dutch side to the French side.

Visitor’s Guide - Government of Sint Maarten

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.  

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholerahepatitis Aschistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunyadengue fevermalariaWest Nile virus and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

COVID-19 - Testing

Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.

Medical care is generally good. There is one hospital in Sint Maarten, the St. Maarten Medical Center in Cay Hill. You will have to pay in advance of treatment.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medications

Over-the-counter medicine purchased in Canada or elsewhere may require a doctor’s prescription in St. Maarten. Be prepared to present a doctor’s prescription to the Immigration/Custom Officer for any medicine you have in your possession.

If you use prescription or over-the-counter medication, bring a supply to last your entire trip.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.  

Driving

You may use a Canadian driver’s license to drive in Sint Maarten.

Turning right on red lights is prohibited.

There is no physical border between the French and Dutch sides of the island and people and goods may travel freely between the two.

You should carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Car Rentals

Be cautious when renting vehicles, especially when arranging for insurance and liability. Ask questions and obtain detailed written information regarding your personal responsibilities before finalizing any rental arrangements.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Sint Maarten.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Sint Maarten, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Sint Maarten.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Sint Maarten by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Sint Maarten to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

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LGBTQ2 travellers

Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Sint Maarten.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Identification

The law requires that everyone over the age of 12 be able to show valid identification to law enforcement authorities at all times.

Investments

If you plan on buying property, or making other investments in Sint Maarten, seek legal advice in Canada and in Sint Maarten. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.

Money

The currency of Sint Maarten is the Netherlands Antilles Florin (NAF).

U.S. dollars are widely accepted, and most shops charge in U.S. dollars. ATMs are available throughout the island and usually dispense U.S. dollars.

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Natural disasters and climate

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

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Rainy season

The rainy season extends from October to February.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 721-542-2222
  • medical assistance: 912
  • firefighters: 919

Consular assistance

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.

Sint Maarten - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressDawn Beach Estate, Sint MaartenPostal AddressP.O. Box Green Starshell Rd #18, Dawn Beach Estate, Sint MaartenTelephone(721) 543-6261 / (561) 304-8862 / (721) 587-1364Fax(721) 543-6291Emailcanadaconsulsxm@gmail.comInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-Sint-MaartenFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in BarbadosTwitter@CanHCBarbados
Bridgetown - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressBishop's Court Hill, St. Michael, P.O. Box 404, Bridgetown, Barbados BB11113Telephone+246 629 3550Fax+246 437 7436Emailbdgtn-cs@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-BarbadosServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in BarbadosTwitter@CanHCBarbadosOther social mediaHigh Commission of Canada to Barbados and the OECS
Consular district

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Sint Maarten.

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, in Bridgetown, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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