The organizers of Carnival in Jamaica have agreed to cancel the annual road march and related activities for April 2021.
This was announced on Tuesday by Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett.
At the height of the pandemic last year, carnival organizers had postponed the 2020 staging in hopes of holding the event next month.
But the tourism minister said that after a number of consultations, they believe it is in the best interest of Jamaicans to cancel the event.
“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,” he said.
Minister Barlett said the government was mindful of the significant economic loss the Carnival cancellation will have on our country, as this event generates billions annually, with many small and medium-sized enterprises benefitting from the celebrations.
However, he said, “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”.
Senior Advisor and Strategist, Delano Seiveright said the Ministry of Tourism has been in advanced dialogue with the carnival organizers 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”.
“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 organizers and Government officials and is in keeping with current COVID-19 containment measures,” he said.
The ministry said organizers have indicated that all bands and fetes will honor all tickets and costumes purchased in 2020 for the next staging of carnival.