Rio de Janeiro Cancels Famous Carnival Street Parades

A packed Sambadrome watches the Rio Carnival in pre-Covid times.

© Shutterstock

rio-carnival

A packed Sambadrome watches the Rio Carnival in pre-Covid times.

© Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes made the announcement in an online broadcast after meeting with health authorities and neighbourhood representatives. It is the second year in a row that what's been dubbed "The Greatest Show on Earth" has fallen prey to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The street carnival in the molds that were made until 2020, it didn't happen in 2021 and it won't happen in 2022. I speak here as a mayor who likes carnival, as a citizen, but unfortunately we can't do it," Paes was reported as saying by Jornal do Brasil.

Samba parade to go ahead

However the parade by Rio's Samba schools will still take place in the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí. It is yet to be announced what controls will be enforced for spectators but vaccination and masks will be required.

The Omicron variant is fueling a rise in Covid-19 cases in Brazil although health authorities there say it has not yet resulted in an increase in severe cases.

The Rio Carnival is normally held every year before Lent, with more than two million people taking to the streets every day. Festivities are recorded as being held in the city for nearly three hundred years, dating back to 1723. 

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