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NACAC to make final decision on 2021 Carifta Games in May, after Bermuda experiences Covid-19 spikes

With recent spikes in the number of Covid-19 cases in Bermuda, a final decision on the fate of the 2021 Carifta Games will be announced in May.

The May date for a final decision was arrived at during a North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) meeting on Saturday, attended virtually by member federations as well as chairs of NACAC commissions and working groups.

This year’s edition of the Carifta Games is scheduled for August 13-15, in Bermuda. The regional junior meet was not held in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bermuda transferred its hosting responsibilities to 2021.

The global pandemic eliminated the possibility of staging the Games on Easter weekend. NACAC had chosen July 2, 3 and 4 as the new dates, but was forced to postpone again because of the scheduling of Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) external exams.

The August dates, however, are now under threat. Bermuda is currently experiencing a spike in Covid-19 cases. At Saturday’s meeting, Carifta 2021 Local Organising Committee (LOC) member Mia Bean spoke about a non-negotiable requirement that any unvaccinated visitor to Bermuda must be quarantined for 14 days.

Since the vaccination requirement would impact all under-17 athletes as well as some of the under-20s, it is a major stumbling block. Other potential challenges were put on the table, including the impact of positive Covid-19 tests during the Games, available hotel rooms, and timelines for booking charters and making payments.

Following extensive discussions, the Carifta 2021 LOC was given until April 30 to report to the NACAC Council on the latest situation with all the issues raised at the information session. The LOC is expected to meet with Bermuda Government officials before the month-end deadline.

Following receipt of the Bermuda LOC report, the NACAC Council will make a decision and communicate it to member federations. (Sports Max)

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