Kingston, 24 June 2021 – “It’s in our hands” is the message from the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, to entertainment industry practitioners and members of the public ahead of the reopening of the entertainment sector.
The Government has had to restrict activities in the entertainment sector since last year as part of measures to prevent covid infections.
Despite significant reductions in the number of new cases, the reproduction rate as well as the positivity rate, Minister Grange said there is the danger that the numbers could rise if we all do not follow protocols for the hosting of entertainment activities.
Minister Grange said:
“I’m making a special appeal to the industry; I’m making a special appeal to the stakeholders; I’m making a very special plea to the public who will attend these events: you’re going to have to observe the protocols, you’re going to have to wear your masks, you’re going to have to sanitise, you’re going to have to keep your distance, and you’re going to have to appreciate the fact that you have a personal responsibility and that our future is in your hands.”
As of July 1, the Government will lift the prohibition on entertainment events such as outdoor concerts, parties, round robins, festivals, community events, corporate mixers, as well as handing-over and groundbreaking ceremonies.
The organisers of small events, defined as activities with a maximum of 100 people in total, will be allowed to make applications for permits as they normally would through their local authorities, who will work with them to ensure that the protocols are in place for a safe event.
However, the organisers of large events — with more than 100 people in attendance — must begin their application process with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. The Ministry will provide guidance and support towards final submission to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, the entity that grants permission for events to take place.
Minister Grange said:
“At this point they can just write the details and provide it to us and then we will assist them in putting together the application, bearing in mind all the protocols that they have to indicate will be in place, before it goes to ODPEM. We will work with you to ensure that your application fulfils the requirements.”
The Minister is also advising event organisers to begin putting in a structure “to observe all the necessary protocols to host events”.
Minister Grange reiterated that it would take “personal and professional responsibility to host events safely and enable entertainment practitioners and those who depend on entertainment to build back their livelihoods. We cannot afford to fail.”