Sat | Oct 16, 2021

Organisers to forgo Carnival in Jamaica until further notice

Published:Tuesday | March 23, 2021 | 2:43 PM
The tourism minister said that stakeholders strongly believe that foregoing the celebrations is in the best interest of Jamaica and will aid in the Government’s fight to preserve lives and livelihoods as the country continues to see an increase in cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are to be no carnival celebrations in Jamaica in April.

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, in making the announcement, says this is due to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamaica is currently experiencing a third wave of the virus.

As a result of the surge, Bartlett says organisers will forego the annual road march and related activities for April 2021 until further notice.

“After a number of consultations with the relevant stakeholders, we can now announce that Jamaica will not be hosting Carnival in Jamaica in April this year. We strongly believe it is in the best interest of our people and will aid in the Government’s fight to preserve lives and livelihoods as we continue to see an increase in cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bartlett in a statement.

“We are mindful of the significant economic loss this will have on our country, as this event generates billions annually, with many small and medium-sized enterprises benefitting from the celebrations. However, despite the ongoing roll-out of vaccines, the Government of Jamaica must continue to put strong measures in place to prevent unnecessary exposure of our people and visitors, to the deadly disease,” he added.

Senior advisor and strategist at the ministry, Delano Seiveright, added that “the Ministry of Tourism has been in advanced dialogue with the organisers of carnival about introducing a bubble concept for Carnival in Jamaica 2021, within the Government’s wider discussions to reopen the events sector, as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Seiveright noted that: “The road parade was initially postponed in 2020 due to the threat of the spread of the novel coronavirus with Sunday, April 11, 2021 announced as the new date. The decision to forego hosting the event in April this year was made after discussions with event organisers and Government officials and is in keeping with current COVID-19 containment measures.”

The tourism ministry says organisers have indicated that all bands and fetes will honour all tickets and costumes purchased in 2020 for the next staging.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.