Rio de Janeiro has cancelled its street parades and parties during its world-famous Carnival for a second year due to an increase in Covid cases and the threat from the arrival of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the city’s mayor said.
However, the spectacular parade by Rio’s samba schools, which the public watches from the stands of the city’s Marques de Sapucai Sambadrome, will go ahead, unlike last year, with health precautions to prevent spreading the virus.
Rio mayor Eduardo Paes made the announcement after a meeting with health authorities that the city would call off the event that draws hundreds of thousands of Carnival revellers each year.
“The street carnival, by its very nature, due to the democratic aspect it has, makes it impossible to exercise any kind of inspection,” Paes said in a live internet broadcast.
Other Brazilian capitals are also cancelling their Carnival parades.
Last week, the northeastern city of Salvador announced it would not celebrate the event.
Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state, also decided it will not sponsor or invest in street parades this year, local media reported.
Sao Paulo is planning to transfer its street parade to the city’s Interlagos Formula One race track, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.