Dutch Caribbean island Statia cancels Carnival 2020 due to COVID-19
[Photo from Government of St Eustatius]
The Public Entity of St Eustatius has decided that in the interest of public health, Statia’s 2020 Carnival celebrations are cancelled indefinitely.
Statia’s Carnival usually takes place annually during the last week of July.
The Executive Council said following meetings with various stakeholders, the council is of the opinion that to continue with Carnival preparations would be an irresponsible thing to do given the times in which we are living.
Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij:
“Carnival is the largest cultural festival. The manner in which Carnival is celebrated will not allow for social distancing, which is one of the main precautionary measures necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. There will be more opportunities in the future to celebrate Carnival.”
Taking into account the negative impact, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is already having on the economy of St Eustatius and also the anticipated decline in income the Public Entity will experience as a direct result of this, it would be irresponsible to grant permission for Carnival in any form.
The Government Commissioner further stated:
“Local businesses are already suffering. Some residents already have less money to spend. It would be counterproductive for the business sector and community to spend limited resources on Carnival 2020”.
The local authority has further reached out to the Dutch Central Government for support which has been granted through an Emergency Package and additional measures to help the local government and employers.
St Eustatius as of May 4 had two confirmed novel coronavirus cases with one person listed as recovered.
St Eustatius is south of Saba and Anguilla and north of St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean Sea.