Kingston, 1 November 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, said today that the Government is now in a position to re-admit spectators — albeit in a limited way — beginning with the World Cup Qualifier between Jamaica and the United States at the National Stadium on November 16.
Five thousand vaccinated spectators will be allowed to watch the game inside the National Stadium but will have to buy their tickets online. This they can do from Wednesday, November 3, 2021, via an Events Authorisation System app which is being introduced to facilitate the online purchase of tickets.
People wishing to purchase tickets will have to produce their vaccination cards and valid means of identification.
Minister Grange’s comments came at a news conference involving the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, the Honourable Desmond McKenzie; and the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Honourable Dr Christopher Tufton, to announce plans for the World Cup Qualifier.
She said: “We are using this event to signal a significant change in how we will manage sporting events going forward.
“Last year June, we developed a road map, outlining the requirements and the process for resuming training and competition. Using that roadmap, we were able to safely host ISSA Boys and Girls Championships; development track and field meets; the National Senior and Junior Trials; the National Premier League; as well as the National Championships for table tennis, golf, tennis, chess, equestrian, squash, triathlon; swim meets at the National Aquatic Centre; the West Indies versus Pakistan cricket series; the Sunshine Netball Series; and two FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
“This required a whole of government approach, working with our various sport stakeholders.
“Working together, we have been able to host many sporting activities safely — without putting our athletes, our communities or our country at risk. I am proud that we are now in a position to take the next steps in our management of sports events during this era of covid 19.
“It will not only be a test for the Reggae Boyz, but for the entire nation as we move into the next phase in the management of covid 19.
“We want to ensure that all our sportspeople can return to competition; and we also want to ensure the fans can return to the match venues. But fans cannot return until we achieve a high level of vaccination across the country. Therefore, I use this opportunity to appeal to everyone — who has not yet done so — to get vaccinated.”
Minister McKenzie said all necessary measures will be in place at the National Stadium in accordance with the covid-19 protocols.
For his part, Health and Wellness Minister Tufton said, “we must show our appreciation to those who have got themselves vaccinated and let it be shown that those who are not vaccinated are at a disadvantage.”
He said: “The move to allow spectators into the National Stadium represents a giant step forward in normalising operations whilst covid-19 is still with us.”