After Saturday morning’s announcement by the Premier that public events are restricted to 50 or less due to increased concerns of the spread of COVID-19 on island, promoters and church leaders and officials moved to salvage what events they could of the St. Patrick’s Festival which was about to hit its peak.
There are no confirmed cased of COVID-19 on Montserrat. However, the Ministry of Health announced late Saturday that a patient is being tested after they expressed symptoms of the virus. Officials are expected to hold a press conference on Monday to provide updates.
On Saturday, NicQuii’s Seafood Fest turned into a drive by operation as they relocated from their planned venue in Little Bay to the ice cream stall in Cudjoe Head. They offered grilled lobster, conch soup, seafood pastas and dishes to the delight of a regular stream of customers into the early evening.
The St. Patrick’s Catholic Dinner, which has been a staple of the festival, continued at the Vue Pointe Hotel but as a pick up only event.
Hardest hit are the major shows which were carded to deliver international performances including Romain Virgo, Jah Cure, the Voice and others. Promoters for the Gold Rush and Stratify have said they are looking at the financial implications of the cancellations and whether they will be able to offer the shows to clients at later dates.
Other events affected by the 50 or less limit were Wet Dreams, Leprechaun’s Dust, Chattabox Jouvert, the Afro Madras Fashion Show, The Matrixx Dancers Unveil, and Emerald City Fest.
The popular Scriber’s Boat Tour also fell victim to the restriction and a refund for those who had already purchased tickets is being offered.
The screenings of two new movies which feature Montserrat, Wendy and No Island Like Home, have become invite only events slated for Sunday night.
The Anglican Church cancelled all services, the House of Refuge postponed its gospel concert promising that the artist will return to perform. The national Sunday service however, continued with a mostly empty church at the St.Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lookout. It was streamed live for everyone to watch.