The final decision has been taken – the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) has been cancelled.
StateTourism Minister Denise Charles confirmed in a statement on radio that the event was being cancelled because of COVID-19.
“We would have loved to have the World Creole Music Festival but as you know, these are challenging times and the health and safety of our citizens is priority,” she said. “And as a result the government has taken the responsible decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival for 2020.”
Stressing the need to adhere to protocols, Charles said the government cannot encourage mass gatherings until things are under control.
She reminded the public that Dominica recently reported two new cases of COVID-19.
“We are doing the contact tracing, and so, we have to monitor how everything goes, so, for now, we are not encouraging or endorsing mass gathering activities…,” she stated.
Charles’ announcement shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as stakeholders hinted at that possibility since May this year when CEO of the Dominica Discover Authority (DDA) and Director of Tourism, Colin Piper, said that no decision had as yet been made for the staging of the Festival.
Piper’s statement came at a time, when, were it not for COVID-19, preparations would already have been underway for the event.
Health Minister, Dr. Irving McIntyre said as recently as August 19, that the WCMF) was not on the cards at the time and the Ministry of Health would not be in favour of such a mass gathering. However, he indicated that the final decision would be based on the science available and the statistics “we have based on Covid-19 internationally.”