Plan for reopening of entertainment sector heads to Cabinet
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie

ST JAMES, Jamaica — Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, is expected today to discuss “proposed measures” that would govern the highly anticipated reopening of the entertainment industry.

According to a release, McKenzie, who was addressing reporters in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, on Friday, said that he has been tasked by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, to come up with a plan for reopening the sector, but “in line with” health and safety protocols that would not jeopardise the lives of Jamaicans.

“I cannot detail the plan here, as it has to get Cabinet approval. It will be presented to the Cabinet [Monday, February 28] after which the country will be notified.”

McKenzie said that it should be noted that sporting events have been given the green light to reopen and that things appear to be going well in that regard.

He added that while the Government has no intention of being discriminatory or to be seen that way, he is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

“We have granted approval for sporting events… Gibson Relays… the CARIFTA Games…West Indies and Sunlight Cup cricket… Boys' and Girls' Champs… netball…basketball,” the Minister added.

“We are reopening the sectors and our attention is now turned to entertainment. We, however, must be careful… diligent… and I want to remind the country that we are not yet out of COVID. We have to do everything according to our health and safety protocols.”

The Minister said he is aware that comparisons are being made about the size of crowds at sporting events in North America, but he noted that “80 per cent of those persons are vaccinated”.

 “All the events that we have given approval for are for persons who are fully vaccinated. Let us use this opportunity to tell persons… not that they want to go to these events… but that the science has proven that vaccination works and has reduced the potential of being hospitalised or even dying,” McKenzie added.

Holness told a virtual press conference last Tuesday that “It's all about trying to get the right balance as we carefully exit [the COVID protocols]”.

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