SOURCE POINTE XPRESS: The decision that there will be no carnival in Antigua and Barbuda this year remains intact despite the recent gains made in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Minister responsible for national festivals, Hon. Daryl Matthew, told Pointe Xpress that Cabinet will not rescind the decision it made earlier this year to cancel the festival for a second consecutive season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There will be no carnival or any activity that will involve large scale crowds in any one place,” Matthew said in response to queries about the summer festival.
He said there are ongoing ‘internal discussions’ around the issue, but Government remains resolute in the fight against COVID-19.
Minister Matthew noted that Government and the promoters have reached broad agreement on the conditions that must be in place for Carnival fetes to take place. These activities will be allowed under the guidelines established between the two entities.
The government earlier announced that fetes will be allowed to take place after July 16, but that all patrons must be fully vaccinated and all staff at these events must also be fully vaccinated.
Carnival as an event is a major fillip to the local economy, because it drives consumption and spending at a time when the economy most needs it; right into the heart of the summer, a slow period for tourism.
For most of this month, Antigua and Barbuda has recorded very few new COVID-19 cases. In fact, currently, there are no officially recorded active cases.