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Barbados weighing virtual, small gathering options for Crop Over 2021

Everyone crying for a return of Barbados' sweet fuh days festival may get their thirst quenched this summer if positive cases continue to trend downward.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic has hinted that the annual Crop Over Festival may be held. However, partiers will be called on to accept scaled-down festivities that would have to be remodelled to accommodate the COVID-19 climate of the day when that time comes around.

As it is right now, I think that we are in a good enough place to be able to facilitate some activity.

Minister Bostic was speaking on the finale of the CBC television series, COVID Queries - The Year in Review &The Way Forward, when he disclosed that the Ministry of Health has been consulting with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) about hosting the festival.

"I’ve had some discussions with the CEO of the NCF, and there have been some entertainment entities that have been putting forward some proposals. Some of them in my mind have been very interesting, and the teams will be looking at all of those to see what can be allowed given the circumstances that confront the country at this point in time," the health minister disclosed.

He shared that authorities were examining hosting virtual events as well as in-person events with limited patrons. Bostic noted that the positivity rate was on the decline with the island reporting less than 10 cases daily over a seven-day period. He emphasized that the decision to hold the Crop Over Festival will be influenced by the "size of the pandemic" within the country.

"As it is right now, I think that we are in a good enough place to be able to facilitate some activity. As to what that activity is going to look like, I cannot say at this point in time because I have to wait for recommendations to come from the Emergency Operations Centre of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

"Suffice it to say, I can see a mixture of things happening in terms of virtual events where that is more desirable, and then some live and in-person events that can be controlled by whatever mechanism is available and that is something we can seriously look at going forward for Crop Over 2021," Bostic continued.

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