(PRESS RELEASE) – On Friday 13th, the Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts announced that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic announced by the World Health Organization, all participation and travel by all National Associations and Federations to games and championships have been banned until further notice.
Although many of our athletes would have trained tremendously in preparation to attend these games and championships, it is the Government’s top priority to ensure the safety and well-being of all athletes and officials.
To this end, a thirty-day ban, effective Friday March 13th, has been placed on all events relating to sporting activities. This includes our participation in both international and domestic sporting events, such as football, basketball, cricket, netball, volleyball and all other sporting disciplines, which have seasonal events and leagues currently ongoing.
As it relates to fetes and events, a meeting was convened with all Event/Fete Promoters to discuss the ongoing issue of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and its impact on events in Antigua and Barbuda. During the meeting, it was announced that effective Monday 16th March, a ban has been placed on all events/fetes for a thirty-day period.
All event/fete promoters are encouraged to exercise increased social responsibility by using their respective platforms to spread positive awareness campaigns and support the practice of social distancing. We recommend that at all bar operations and similar social events across the State, gatherings of more than fifty (50) persons should not be entertained. This also includes, but is not limited to, popular spots such as JR’s, Area 51, Cloggy’s, the weekly Shirley Heights Sunday evening activities and Church Crusades.
For clarity, these establishments and activities are not being asked to discontinue, but to restrict their numbers to fifty (50) persons for the next thirty days.
While we have all confidence that persons will voluntarily adhere to this inconvenience, we have requested, and have received, the support of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda in enforcing this ban.
All bans and limitations placed on the various events will be reviewed at the end of the thirty-day period.
At this time, we will refrain from making any announcements regarding the postponement or cancellation of Barbuda Caribana or Antigua Carnival 2020. We intend to be guided by the continued developments, and the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts wishes to express its continued support to all associations and federations, as well as all event organizers, promoters and entertainment providers and operators, as this pre-emptive measure seeks to prevent the contracting and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) in Antigua and Barbuda.