Party and stage show organisers in Jamaica are raising awareness amid escalating global concerns over the novel coronavirus (named COVID-19).
With the usually busy Spring Break period approaching, countries like the US and Mexico, regular tourist destinations for the season, are stepping up precautionary measures for the potential influx of visitors.
According to local promoter Ian Miles, there is also the possibility that seasonal travellers will sit out this year’s Spring Break activities or avoid taking trips to evade chances of exposure – which could have an impact on support parties receive from overseas.
Miles, promoter of the Hotspot Sunday Brunch, said: “I don’t feel like travelling because truth is, the possibility of exposure is higher and globally, people are worried. Individuals who travel for enjoyment may be thinking to avoid getting on planes or ships, until the threat has died down, and already there are restrictions that prevent persons from affected countries to come here.”
So far, three cruise ships have been denied access to dock at Jamaican ports with the most recent, Carnival Freedom, which was expected to call on Montego Bay’s port on Wednesday.
PROBLEM IS BIGGER THAN THE PARTIES
“While Jamaica remains ‘corona-free’, the problem is bigger than the parties. Local Government is doing its best to ensure all passengers are screened or overall limiting access to vessels transporting individuals from affected countries, which will have some impact on the economy … but I am sure the events will go on as planned,” Miles said.
Meanwhile, Kamal Bankay, chairman of the National Carnival in Jamaica stakeholders committee, explained, “The incidence of the coronavirus in feeder markets, which is mainly North America, has been limited. Once it stays that way, Jamaica should not be affected.”
Official travel bans have only been placed on persons travelling to Jamaica from countries such as China, Italy and South Korea.
Hans Mullings, executive producer of the popular Beach Road Trip (BRT) Weekend, which is to make its Jamaica debut this month, said even with news reports of cases of the virus in the US, there is no apprehension that will have any effect on Spring Break events in Jamaica.
“Our team is not worried about the threat of the coronavirus; we continue to have discussions about the epidemic and maintain the level of awareness,” Mullings told THE STAR. “It must be emphasised that there have been no confirmed cases in Jamaica and our supporters, local and international, need not be worried about contracting anything during their travels here.”
The ‘BRT-boss’ expressed that there are no apparent changes in sales, neither have persons reached out to request refunds for tickets already purchased.
“The numbers are still up but we are encouraging persons to pay attention to the necessary health guidelines, take all precautionary steps and follow basic hygienic practices,” he said.
Source: Jamaica Star
Read more: No break for Spring Break due to COVID-19 – But event promoters stay on alert, continue with plans