By Theresa Goodwin
Residents are having their say on the sudden announcement by Health Minister Molwyn Joseph that no fetes will be allowed over the holiday season, and have given mixed reactions to this latest development.
The concerns were shared yesterday on the Daily Dose morning show on Hitz FM, Observer’s sister station.
A well-known vendor who operates at every major event or funeral said she would have preferred the country remain closed until the government is able to properly manage the situation before reopening the borders.
The woman explained that Antigua and Barbuda will be forever vulnerable while the borders remain open. She also added that some residents are also forgetting the common protocols when they get together to socialise.
Another female caller said she was not bothered by the decision, noting that the nation has gone through a difficult period and a fete is not considered important at this point.
“People wise up, wise up. Better days are coming; let us live a bit before we lock up again like we are in a pen,” the woman said.
A local disc jockey shared that it is unfair for every sector of the economy to be functioning while entertainment remains on ice.
He said it is “absurd” to cancel all fetes while the beaches, supermarkets, buses, and taxis remain full to capacity.
Another organiser also questioned who will reimburse promoters who are now facing a loss.
Meanwhile, promoters who had earlier received approval from the Health Ministry and the police to host events later this month and later on in the new year, have already expressed their frustration on the matter saying they were caught off guard.
Some of them also went a bit further to accuse government officials of being deceptive.
Health Minister Molwyn Joseph said events were being cancelled amid concerns that the Omicron variant is currently wreaking havoc across the globe.