Gov’t to sell COVID test kits to fete organizers, who say testing before events is possible for 300 patrons

Fetes held over the Christmas holidays, and going forward, must be operated under strict protocols, with a limit placed on the number of patrons, according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Organisers will be permitted to host these events once the COVID-19 numbers remain low and the new Omicron variant does not breach national defenses.  However, he warns that permission could be reconsidered if the new variant poses any significant threat.

Although only vaccinated persons can attend fetes, Brown says they will have to undergo some level of testing to enter the events.  Accordingly, the Government will be acquiring test kits, which will be sold at a nominal price to fete organisers.

Organizers have indicated that they are capable of testing 300 patrons at the door of these events – an offer that was accepted by the Cabinet during its sitting on Wednesday, December 1.

Therefore, patrons do not have to be tested on the day prior to the event, since it can be done on the spot.

Browne says these measures are being taken based on the likelihood of high transmissibility of the COVID-19 virus.  He adds that Health officials will now have to increase their surveillance in light of the new threat from the Omicron.

Meanwhile, Browne claims that the test kits purchased by the Government will be made available to residents to test privately at home.