Authorities give go-ahead for fetes again in Barbados

After almost a year of fetes and other large scale social activities being banned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the green light has been given for open-air social and sporting events to resume.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George announced at a press conference on Wednesday that these larger public events will be allowed and specific protocols have been put in place to protect patrons, promoters and performers.

“For open-air events, for the promoters and the artistes and the people on stage who are actively involved in the production, both vaccination and a rapid antigen test will be required for entrance into that area.

“For patrons, it will either be that you are vaccinated, or come with a rapid antigen test 24 hours before that event. So there is a slight distinction between patrons, and the promoters/artistes,” he explained.

Dr George added that promoters are free to allow only vaccinated patrons into their events, but it is not a stipulation the Ministry of Health has asked for.

The CMO added that promoters will have to apply to the COVID Monitoring Unit, as well as the National Cultural Foundation, for permission to host any social event.

Churches and other places of worship have also been given permission to increase the maximum size of their indoor congregations, only if 70 per cent of congregants have been vaccinated.

“We are going to allow three feet distancing within places of worship, provided that 70 per cent of that congregation is fully vaccinated. At this point in time, we are not asking for [you] to be tested to enter a church, so you either do six feet distancing, or if you want more people in a particular space, it should be three feet distancing with masks, with the caveat that 70 per cent of your population within that space is vaccinated,” Dr George explained.

Attendance at graduations, meetings, paternal societies, etc. will be allowed to continue.

However, the CMO stressed they will be guided by the COVID Monitoring Unit. He said that in addition to the requirements of social distancing of at least three feet and wearing of masks, persons will have to be either vaccinated or have a negative rapid antigen test to gain entry to such events.

Organized sporting events will be accommodated with guidance from the Ministry of Health.

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