If any year called for a time to let loose and dance our problems away, it’s 2020. But like virtually every other fun event, amid the threat of COVID-19, the Jamaica Carnival has been canceled this year.
Jamaica Carnival organizers won’t be holding their annual road march and other carnival-related activities until April 11, 2021.
According to chairman of the Carnival in Jamaica stakeholders committee, Kamal Bankay, “Based on all of the professional healthcare advice, taking into account that carnival is not only a local but also an international tourism entertainment product, we have no choice but to reschedule the staging of our Carnival in Jamaica Road Parade from October 25th 2020 to April 11th 2021. This will allow us the time to do what we need to do to have a safe and enjoyable Carnival in 2021.”
The road parade was first postponed to October 25, 2020 due to the threat of COVID-19.
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in agreeing with the cancelation decision said, “As the country enters the community transmission phase of the COVID-19 virus, we strongly believe it is in the best interest of our people, to forego hosting our annual carnival celebrations for this year.”
The decision to forego hosting the event entirely in 2020 was made after consultation with event organizers and members of government and is in keeping with current containment measures.
“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, 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,” Bartlett said.
Chairman Bankay also noted that all of the bands and fetes will honour all tickets and costumes purchased in 2020 for the 2021 staging.