Cabinet has granted conditional approval for the CayMAS Carnival 2021 street parade to take place in the Cayman Islands on August 7th.
The approval is contingent on organisers of the event adhering to strict criteria to ensure a safe carnival experience for patrons, as well as for the Cayman Islands. The conditions include the stipulation that all persons who participate in the parade in any capacity, including masqueraders, drivers, marshalls, DJ’s, etc., must have completed a full course of vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the parade.
Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism explained that the Cabinet provided its conditional approval for the event, under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism after carefully reviewing the organiser’s proposal. “People the world over are anxious to return to a state of normalcy and get back to doing the things they used to do prior to Covid-19, and that includes attending carnivals,” the Minister said. “Cabinet considered if there was ever an opportune time for hosting a carnival styled event this would be it, before our borders are open, as doing so after reopening would mean that the level of risk would inherently increase. We therefore saw this event as an opportunity to encourage people to get vaccinated, while also providing the incentive for doing so. Furthermore, it also allows the effectiveness of our safety protocols with respect to large crowds to be assessed at the same time.”
According to the event’s organisers, the Cayman Islands will be the first country to host a Carnival with full street parade since February 2020, when the effects of the COVID pandemic began echoing around the world. Since then, live parades have given way to virtual events held online, to maintain the level of interest and momentum among loyal carnival followers.
Craig Frederick, Director of CayMas Carnival stated “We are anticipating an exciting Carnival experience which has been made possible because of the sacrifice and discipline of the people of the Cayman Islands. We would like to extend our humble and sincere gratitude to Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism, who understands the CayMAS vision and what it means for the country both locally and internationally. Also, thank you to Hon. Bernie Bush, Minister for Culture, and the other Members of Parliament for giving the people of Cayman the opportunity to celebrate our pandemic victories the best way we as Caribbean people know how – through Carnival. To our overseas patrons who are desperate to be back on the road with us, have faith that 2022 will be spectacular.”
Prior to hosting the event, CayMAS organisers will actively promote the Cayman Islands national vaccination drive, and all participants will be given a Covid-19 pamphlet when collecting their costumes.
“At CayMAS we are mindful of the current environment as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and we have therefore agreed to a no-exceptions vaccination policy for all CayMas participants and staff,” said Frederick. “This mandate will give everyone the chance to revel freely and safely on Seven Mile Beach and beyond, in what will be the region’s first major Carnival since the global lockdown.”
“CayMAS is a huge opportunity for the Cayman Islands to showcase our Islands to a global audience, while at the same time providing an opportunity for our people to enjoy a fun, cultural event. The Ministry is looking forward to a well-organized parade and we wish the Director and organisers a safe and successful event,” said Minister Bryan.