(CMC) – The St Lucia government has approved several incentives for Carnival stakeholders, announcing also that while the festival will be open to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated revellers, “more precise guidelines will be provided on the procedures for participation” for the July event.
“I am very pleased to see a vibrant return of our premier cultural showcase. St Lucia Carnival 2022 is in high demand at the moment and promises to be on a similar level to that of 2019. We have also put in place several incentives and measures that will help Carnival bands and event promoters recover from the two-year absence,” said Dr Ernest Hilaire, the Minister of Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information
St Lucia, like many other Caribbean countries, is slowing returning to a level of normality due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has killed 368 people and infected 24,514 others since March 2020.
A government statement said that since the announcement of the resumption of the festival, the Carnival Planning and Management Committee and the Carnival Music Management Committee have been planning the ‘Lucian Carnival’ which it described as “one of the biggest economic drivers in the calendar year”.
The statement said that to maximize the benefits that comes along with the carnival, the authorities have been in consultation with health officials and that “one key point to note from those consultations, is that ‘Lucian Carnival’ will be open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. “However, more precise guidelines will be provided on the procedures for participation in the island’s Carnival in the coming weeks,” the statement added.
It said also that that there will be no new land events on the calendar of events for carnival week, July 7 to 20 “in an effort to reduce the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and put less pressure on logistics and personnel from relevant government agencies”.
The statement said that the Cabinet had also approved several incentives including 100 per cent waivers of Corporation Tax for the Income Years 2020 to 2023, import duty on material imported by carnival bands and event promoters; Customs fees for Saint Lucia Carnival 2022; ad withholding tax for artistes and performers at the events for Carnival 2022.
“These incentives will assist with ensuring that the execution of St. Lucia Carnival is at its usually high-standard and help re-energize the entertainment industry that has been almost dormant since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said, noting that the parade of bands will go ahead as customary “since…the prevailing conditions have become more relaxed.
“Therefore, revellers for St. Lucia Carnival 2022 can now enjoy the traditional ‘jump up’ …and the Parade of the Bands scheduled for 18th and 19th July.”