Despite not having any reported cases of COVID-19, Jamaica is amongst the latest country to issue precautionary measures against large public gatherings. And that includes the beloved Jamaica Carnival celebration, which was scheduled to take place next month.
As it steadily becomes one of the Caribbean’s most anticipated events, Jamaica Carnival infuses soca and dancehall in the best way possible. Set in the heart of Kingston, the streets fill with beautiful costumes and bands such as Xodus Carnival during road march. There are also staple fetes such as PM Fete, Soca Brainwash and A.M. Bush which have partygoers drinking, dancing, and whining until all hours of the night.
It’s Carnival, and it’s beautiful.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and internal consultations with our stakeholders and the Ministries of Health & Wealth, Tourism, and Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports, we have decided to postpone the staging of our Carnival in Jamaica 2020 Road Marches to October 2020,” said Kamal Bankay, Chairman of the Carnival, in a statement released today.
“The decision to postpone an event that is five weeks away is an imperative one and came after much consultation and deliberation.”
Thankfully, the entire celebration has not been canceled — just delayed. Jamaica’s Road Parade (Bacchanal Jamaica, Xaymaca International, and Xodus Carnival) will now take place on Sunday, October 25. All costumes purchased will be honored at the later date.
The statement continues, “This postponement to October 2020 gives us seven (7) clear months from the initial detection of the virus in Jamaica to provide a level of chronological distancing that shows that we are committed to protecting the citizens of Jamaica and tourists from unnecessary exposure to the pandemic COVID-19.”
Jamaica Carnival isn’t the only carnival to take precautionary measures during this time. St. Maarten Carnival (April 2020) and Berlin Carnival (May 2020) have been canceled.