For the second year in a row, Grenada Carnival or Spice Mas as it is more affectionately known has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Grenada Carnival is normally launched in the second quarter of the year and reaches its climax in August.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell announced the disappointing decision as health officials raced to vaccinate 60% of the 110,000 population by July 2021. The first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was administered on 12 February.
At a press conference on 26 February, PM Mitchell admitted: “I don’t see how we will be able to achieve 60% 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% of the people who will not have been vaccinated. I don’t think it is a smart thing.”
The Prime Minister acknowledged the decision would create difficulties for musicians and many others whose livelihoods are dependent on cultural activities. He asked the Minister of Culture to meet carnival stakeholders to discuss possible relief packages for the affected groups.
Although Grenada Carnival was cancelled in 2020, many people took part in J’Ouvert celebrations in defiance of government Covid protocols.