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Miss World 2021 postponed after Covid cases detected

Miss Gibraltar, Janice Sampere, pcitured in St Michael's Cave before she travelled to Puerto Rico for Miss World 2021. Photo by Johnnny Bugeja

Miss World 2021 postponed its finale in Puerto Rico on Thursday over Covid-19 concerns and just hours before the pageant was due to start.

The decision was taken “…due to health and safety interest of contestants, staff, crew and general public,” the organisers said in a statement on their social media.

Reports in the local media said 17 people involved in the pageant had tested positive for Covid-19, though it was not clear how many participants were among those infected.

Seamus Byrne, the chief executive of Gibraltar Cultural Services, said he had been in touch with Miss Gibraltar, Janice Sampere.

"She is perfectly well and has now left the Miss World hotel and is with her family," Mr Byrne told the Chronicle.

"She'll be back in Gibraltar next week."

The finale will be rescheduled at Puerto Rico Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot within the next 90 days, the organisers said in a statement.

“After meeting with the virologists and medical experts hired to oversee the Miss World 2021 event and discussing with the Puerto Rico Health Department, the decision has been made by the organizers of the event to postpone the globally broadcast finale at the Puerto Rico Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot, to be held within the next 90 days,” the statement said.

“As of yesterday [meaning Wednesday], additional safety measures were implemented in the best interest of the contestants, production team and spectators, understanding the event increased risks on the stage and in the dressing room.”

“However, after additional positive cases were confirmed this morning after consulting with health officials and experts, the postponement decision was made.”

“The next step according to the medical experts is immediate quarantine, pending observation and further testing according to best practices in situations like this.”

“Once and only when contestants and staff are cleared by health officials and advisors, will contestants and related staff return to their home countries.”

Julia Morley, CEO of Miss World Ltd, added: ““We are very much looking forward to the return of our contestants, (who we have grown to know and love), to compete for the Miss World crown.”

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