NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Carnival has been postponed due to safety concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Organizers released a press statement announcing the road march and related events have been sidelined after the country recorded its first confirmed case on Sunday.
“The health and safety of our supporters is of paramount concern for The Polantra Media Group, The Bahamas Carnival Band Association and Blue Monkey,” the statement read.
“As the world continues to grapple with the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus we have taken the advice of Ministry of Health officials and the Prime Minister and postponed the event.
“As The Bahamas Public Parks & Beaches Authority has also suspended both existing permits for organized public gatherings and the issuance of any further permits, our team has decided to err on the side of caution for the wellbeing of everyone interested in participating in this year’s Bahamas Carnival Experience.”
Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association President Rafel Dean said the move is one supported by mas bands as their main priority as well is the health and safety of their supporters.
“This is obviously something the world is watching and everyone is concerned,” Dean said.
“With travel bans being put in place and governments on high alert, we think it’s imperative that we put the health of our supporters, and Bahamians in general, first. The bandleaders have agreed to this change and assure our supporters that we will accommodate any questions or concerns. The Bahamas Carnival Experience will still be a great one.”
The statement continued: “Despite the date change, Polantra Media Group and The Bahamas Carnival Band Association promises an incredible experience for both our visitors and locals interested in playing mas in paradise.
“We thank you, our dedicated revelers and first-timers, for your continued support. Polantra Media and The Band association encourages everyone to adhere to the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), The Ministry of Health and the respective agencies to protect yourself and your families.”