Minister Grant stated that the “growing pandemic of the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been constantly monitored by the Executive Committee of the St. Kitts Music Festival, recognizing the potential implications for our international event, originally scheduled for 24-28 June, 2020.”
He added that they have been in close contact with the Ministry of Health, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Ministry of Tourism and other relevant stakeholders, “to better position ourselves to adapt to any changing health conditions occasioned by the virus.”
The tourism minister stated that the health and safety of all citizens and residents in St. Kitts and Nevis, performing artistes, and the festival’s patrons has been paramount in the committee’s considerations.
“We have equally factored the considerable investments by many of our local stakeholders and service providers and that is why we have taken a studied approach,” he said. “These have been very difficult times and it has not been an easy task to navigate the fast-moving developments.”
The minister said that the committee has been proactive in their approach and “have prepared accordingly for any escalation, in the event of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching our shores and having a local impact. Unfortunately, that time has arrived.”
“With borders across the world closing, airline services cancelled, a cruise sector that has suspended services, and many communities in North America, Europe and other regions under mandatory lock down – affecting millions, we here in St. Kitts and Nevis, have decided to take action to protect the integrity of the festival,” said Minister Grant, adding that the committee’s priority “remains the safety and general well-being of all involved.”
The Minister of Tourism stated that patrons who have already purchased their tickets online “will be protected and their purchases will remain valid going forward.”
He encouraged car rental companies, hotels and other places of accommodation, to “waive any applicable penalties that ordinarily would have pertained regarding cancellations and or re-bookings.”