Minister says no preferential treatment as event blocked

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February 09, 2022

AFTER promoters of a Dexta Daps concert failed to secure approval from the Ministry of Health and will not host the event, there has been renewed criticism about how differently the Davis administration treats events held at hotels versus those held off hotel sites.

Organisers wanted the Reggae Valentine event to be held this Friday at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium carnival grounds, but Health Minister Dr Michael Darville said officials first rejected their application on January 17 and then rejected it a second time this week.

He said it is unlikely the promoters will gain approval should they submit a third application.

The promoters were also planning a concert in Grand Bahama on Saturday.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, our hospitals are still under tremendous strain and it is important for us to get our schools opened fully,” Dr Darville said before heading into a Cabinet meeting.

“The only source of control that we can execute at the Ministry of Health is large gatherings and the science is clear that large gatherings, irrespective of the circumstances, are high risk for community spread and so we have to protect the country and we must execute the tools that we have in our toolbox in order to do so. With that being said it’s always a difficult thing to try to stop commerce and we are seeing some good signs in the country right now, we’re hopeful that they will maintain on the same trend. If that happens, the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as EOC will take into consideration the possibility of relaxing some of the rules but I do not want to focus on that at this time.”

Residents were quick to note the far more lax rules related to events at hotels. Bahamians are not barred from attending concerts on hotel properties and many have attended popular events in recent months, including a Doja Cat concert at Atlantis on New Year’s Eve. A Sheryl Crow concert is scheduled at Atlantis on May 28 and a Shaggy concert is scheduled for February 25-27 at Resorts World Bimini.

“We have definitely spoken to all of the hotel properties and we have made our position very clear that we do not approve any of these concerts anywhere and record will reflect that the Ministry of Health and Wellness made that extremely obvious and clear and we hold that same position as we speak,” Dr Darville said when asked about the differential treatment.

Asked if promoters can carry on with events like hotels do even after the Ministry of Health’s disapproval, he said: “The Ministry of Health is responsible for policy, the Ministry of Health is not responsible for enforcement. Once we lay the policy and we reject an event, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of National Security to move in and to address the issues.”

Yesterday, the promoters of the Dexta Daps event said the concerts will not be held after they were denied approval. They advised that full ticket refunds will be made available.

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 02/09/2022    Category : Covid-19, Business, Tribune Stories

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