While seeking to assure them they that have not been forgotten, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told members of the entertainment fraternity that they will have to wait a bit longer before receiving the green light to resume some semblance of normal operations as bans on gatherings, parties, round robins and other such activities remain in force due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, as he addressed the House of Representatives, Holness appealed to entertainers to be more patient.
Holness, while stating that the Government has been “very sympathetic” to the plight of those who earn from the sector, reminded that in the early days of the pandemic, some events were allowed to take place with the understanding that the agreed to health protocols would have been observed.
“But then we began to see some spikes (in COVID-19 cases) and spikes we could trace back to these events so we had to pull back,” he said.
The prime minister stressed that he did not want those in the industry “to feel that there is no sympathy for them or that we’re blaming them. That is not the case. The nature of their industry is such that we just have to be very careful with it”.
Holness said he was of the personal view that there are certain measures that can be put in place.
“The question is whether or not those measures would make the business economically viable and so greater thought needs to be put into that,” he said.
He said the Administration has listened to various proposals including that entertainment events could be held in open air venues, within the curfew hours and that the rapid antigen test be made available for patrons.
However, he said he has directed that the ministers of entertainment, health and local government meet next week to review the proposals that have been submitted.
“We’re going to review those and at the end of that review we will come back to Parliament and report as to what might be possible,” said the prime minister.