SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The Council of Ministers (COM) is convinced that the agreed upon public health protocols to be implemented by the Sint Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will ensure public safety. As such, SCDF has been granted the greenlight to proceed with planning and execution of Carnival 2021 on St. Maarten. This decision was taken during a Council of Ministers meeting on January 14, after taking into consideration the plans for a safe Carnival 2021, given by representatives of SDCF.
This decision was taken with the understanding that should St. Maarten’s COVID-19 situation worsen in regards to the spread of the virus and medical capacity, cancellation of Carnival 2021 can still take place. As such, the infection rate will continue to be monitored as well as the capacity of the health sector to handle any possible outbreak.
The planning and execution of Carnival 2021, will continue with strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure that all the COVID-19 health protocols are upheld during all the events and aftermath of events including all approved parades. As, such the highly anticipated Jouvert Morning parade, including jump ups in general will not be allowed to take place as these events pose the largest health risk in terms of COVID-19 contamination and spread.
In order to monitor the adherence of the COVID-19 health protocols put in place, SCDF will be required to submit daily updates to the Ministers of VSA and TEATT. There will be a limitation of persons attending events at the Festival Village. In the interim, SCDF will embark on an intense information and awareness campaign which will begin soon.
Government has concerns regarding the hosting of large events, however, it is expected that the infection level of the COVID-19 virus will be different during the months of March and April as a result of more intense testing which remains ongoing and the administration of vaccines expected mid-February.
In the event St. Maarten’s medical capacity may become overburdened due to a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 active cases, which may lead to a cancellation of Carnival 2021, the Government of St. Maarten will not be held responsible for any loss of income, investments or otherwise.