Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has announced that Carnival in Jamaica organisers will forego its annual road march and related activities until April 11, 2021.
In a news release late Friday evening, Bartlett expressed: “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.
“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,” said Bartlett.
The road parade originally scheduled for Sunday, April 19 was first postponed to Sunday, October 25, due to the threat of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The decision to forego hosting the event in 2020 was made after consultation with event organisers and members of Government and is in keeping with current containment measures, the release stated.
“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,” said Chairman of the Carnival in Jamaica stakeholders committee, Kamal Bankay.
He further noted that all of the bands and fetes will honour all tickets and costumes purchased in 2020 for the 2021 staging.
A revised Carnival in Jamaica calendar, including all the major fetes will follow in the coming days.