There will be no Carnival celebrations this year, even if 60 percent of the population get the COVID-19 vaccine, Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said on Friday.
Grenada’s immunization rollout began on February 12 and health officials are working towards having 60 percent of the island’s population of 110,000 vaccinated.
“I don’t see how we will be able to achieve 60 percent by July, but even if we did, I think it will be a mistake to go and have a mass event because you will still have 40 percent of the people who will not have been vaccinated. I don’t think it is a smart thing,” said Prime Minister Mitchell during an interview with selected journalists, in a format adopted as part of the new COVID-19 health protocols aimed at avoiding any mass gathering of media workers.
He acknowledged that the Carnival period is not only a major revenue earner for the Government but also for many citizens who use the Carnival period to make a living.
Against that background, Mitchell said, discussions will be held on possibly providing assistance to those individuals.
“We have asked the Ministry of Culture to meet with the various stakeholders and see what can be done to aid the pain, because many people live and operate their livelihood by cultural activities,” said the Prime Minister.
“Like we have done for the taxi association, [we will see] what can we do for the cultural artistes and other people involved who live by the cultural activities in the country.”
Grenada’s Carnival climaxes in August annually but is normally launched during the second quarter of the year.
There were no celebrations in 2020 because of measures enforced to control and contain the spread of COVID-19. However, many people defied orders and held J’ouvert celebrations in communities and villages across the island.