The nation will learn before the end of the month what activities will form part of the schedule of activities for carnival 2022.
At its weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Minister Michael Browne, who has portfolio responsibilities for Cultural Industries, confirmed the return of Labour Day and Carnival celebrations this year.
Two carnival celebrations were cancelled due to COVID-19, but the desire to return the country to normalcy has led to restrictions are being eased that will allow for a scaled back version of the annual summer festival.
While the schedule is being finalised, revellers will be disappointed to learn that the main events that make up the summer festival will not be included for fear that they could become super-spreader events.
“We do know that T-Shirt Mas is out, precisely because thousands of people participate in it annually, and it has grown, and it is the kind of super-spreader event given the nature of COVID,” Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst said during yesterday’s Post-Cabinet Press Briefing.
“We believe that J’ouvert might also be out precisely for the same reasons as the T-Shirt Mas, and without a doubt the last lap would also have to be excluded.”
He said the safety of citizens and residents is paramount, and government is insistent that activities will not be planned that will endanger the health and welfare of people, particularly the youth.
All planned events will be coordinated with social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading.
Carnival serves as a major booster for the country’s economy and is marketed as one of the premier festivals Antigua and Barbuda offers the world.
Discussions are being held with stakeholders to ensure all events, once finalised, are held in a safe environment.