Jamaican Tourism Minister, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has announced that Jamaica Carnival 2020 will be cancelled. The festival, which had been moved from its original April date to Sunday 25 October because of COVID-19, will now not be held Sunday 11 April, 2021.
In an announcement on 18 September, the minister said, “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 forgo hosting our annual carnival celebrations for this year.
“We are mindful of the significant economic loss this will have for 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.”
Kamal Bankay, Chairman of the Carnival in Jamaica stakeholders committee, said, “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.” He also noted that bands and fetes would honour all tickets and costumes purchased in 2020.