By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Saint Lucia Carnival 2022, Tuesday, announced that cabinet has approved 100 percent incentives for Event Promoters and Carnival Bands who have been endorsed by the ministry of tourism, investments, creative industries, culture and information, Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) and the Carnival Planning and Management Committee (CPMC); also, advised that “the prevailing conditions have become more relaxed. Therefore, revelers for Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 can now enjoy the traditional ‘jump up’ from ‘Mega J to Mega J’. The Parade of the Bands is scheduled for July 18 – 19.”
Is the sixth COVID-19 wave real?
Conversely, the latter announcement may have ‘doctored the science’ that the Ministry of Health (MOH) on May 13, said it is “currently managing the sixth COVID-19 wave in the country.”
According to experts, the government of Saint Lucia press release, May 17, has in every measure “discarded the science” that Saint Lucia is experiencing, the sixth COVID-19 wave and that:
“ COVID-19 cases are surging yet again in Saint Lucia according to the Ministry of Health (MOH), albeit, the resumption of Gros Islet Friday Night ‘Street Party’ and “of grave concern is the continued impact on our education sector and the future of our children’s education.”
Lives and Livelihood
The “lives and livelihood” argument for the government of Saint Lucia policy and execution as directed, pronounces:
“Saint Lucia Carnival is the island’s premier cultural activity and one of the biggest economic drivers in the calendar year. To maximize the benefits that comes along with Saint Lucia Carnival, the ministry along with the Carnival Planning and Management Committee (CPMC) has been in consultation with the ministry of health to chart the way forward for the festivities.
“One key point to note from those consultations is that ‘Lucian Carnival’ will be open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons,” followed with ambiguity that, “however, more precise guidelines will be provided on the procedures for participation in the island’s Carnival in the coming weeks.”
More precisely, is the government of Saint Lucia approved Special Incentives for Carnival Stakeholders:
- 100% waiver of Corporation Tax for the Income Years 2020 to 2023;
- 100% waiver of Import Duty on material imported by Carnival Bands and Event Promoters;
- 100% waiver of Customs fees for Saint Lucia Carnival 2022; and,
- 100% exemption from Withholding Tax for artists and performers at the events for Carnival 2022.
“These incentives will assist with ensuring that the execution of Saint Lucia Carnival is at its usually high standard and help re-energize the entertainment industry that has been almost dormant since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the government press release.
‘We would hate to have to close the country again’
Meanwhile, prime minister Philip J. Pierre, expressed concern over increased COVID-19 cases in Saint Lucia and a lull in vaccination as the island confronts the sixth COVID-19 wave, per reports Monday, May 16, 2022:
“We would hate to have to close the country again. That can’t happen. We wish that it will not happen and I want to urge Saint Lucians to get vaccinated. There has been almost a stoppage in terms of vaccinations. We are very concerned about it.” ~ attributed to prime minister Pierre.
Noteworthy, the ministry of tourism, investment, creative industries, culture and information, said in a press release, Tuesday:
“Through its consultations with the Carnival Planning and Management Committee (CPMC) and local Event Promoters highlighted that there will be NO new land events on the Calendar of Events for Carnival week, July 7 – 20. This is in an effort to reduce the risks associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic and put less pressure on logistics and personnel from relevant government agencies.”
MOH reported that, as of May 16, a total of 53, 706 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Another 5, 341 are partially vaccinated and 7, 331 have received their booster shot. ( population 182, 279).
Meanwhile prime minister Pierre continues to advise Saint Lucians to “get vaccinated and follow the protocols” as administered by the chief medical officer and the MOH, a commenter said:
“After Lucian Carnival 2022, there’s no need for COVID-19 protocols and reporting, much-less to take the authorities serious” adding “the science is pointless; who will take responsibility, with the policy decision and execution that essentially says, “to hell with everything else”?