(PRESS RELEASE) – The Events Company of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority have been closely monitoring the recent developments concerning the spread of COVID-19 and the global health crisis that this has created.
With the official statement on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization (WHO) that declared the corona virus outbreak a pandemic, both agencies convened a meeting to take a hard and realistic look at the risks versus the benefits of continuing with plans to host the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, scheduled for the 7th – 9th May 2020, given that Mass Crowd Events present enhanced risk factors regarding the spread of the virus. While as of the time of this press release, there is no confirmed case in Saint Lucia, both of our closest neighbors – Martinique and St. Vincent – have confirmed cases and it appears as if it is only a matter of time before Saint Lucia has a confirmed case.
The agencies have also had discussions with the Chief Medical Officer and the Ministry of Health, so as to be guided by their expertise on this matter. These authorities are of course concerned about the nation’s ability to handle this crisis if a Festival such as Saint Lucia Jazz were to take place, thereby placing greater demand on our healthcare resources in particular.
The situation of course is not unique to Saint Lucia as we continue to receive updates about Festival and Event cancellations globally.
There is therefore unanimous agreement that the priority has to be the health and safety of our people and having weighed all these considerations, the Events Company of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority see no choice but to cancel this year’s Jazz Festival.