Rio de Janeiro cancels its Carnival due to the pandemic

Carnival of Rio de Janeiro.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, announced this Thursday the cancellation of the carnival this year because, even with the covid vaccination already started in Brazil, the organizers have very little time to organize the party next July, as planned.

“I never hid my passion for Carnival and the clear perception I have of the importance of this cultural event for our city, but It seems pointless to me that we imagine that, at this point, we will have the conditions to hold Carnival in July“said the mayor in a message on his Twitter account.

The Rio Carnival, one of the most famous in the world, was scheduled for February this year but the samba schools themselves, responsible for the majestic parades, they had already decided to postpone it until July due to the situation of the pandemic, although they had conditioned it to the existence of a vaccine and an advanced immunization campaign at that time.

Paes, a former mayor who assumed the municipal government for the third time on January 1 and who has never hidden his love for Carnival and the Portela samba school, alleged that, despite the losses that the cancellation entailed for the city, an event of the magnitude of carnival it is hardly organized in six months.

“This celebration requires a great deal of preparation on the part of the public bodies and the unions and institutions linked to samba. Something impossible to do at this time. In this way I would like to inform that we will not have carnival in the middle of the year in 2021“added the mayor on his social networks.

According to Paes, in 2022, when both the protagonists of the Carnival and the tourists who come to the city to experience the party will surely be duly vaccinated against covid, “We will celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity we deserve.”

The mayor also said that has already asked the responsible municipal bodies That they start up alternative projects to guarantee a livelihood and a minimum income in 2021 to people who make a living from carnival parties.

More than two million people

Carnival is the main tourist event in Rio and last year it attracted 2.1 million visitors, of which 483,000 foreigners, who left income for 900 million dollars and confirmed the city as the main tourist destination in Brazil.

Last November, the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro, the main protagonists of the Carioca carnival, had already announced their decision to cancel the traditional parades scheduled for February and to hold them on July 10 and 11, 2021, but they had been conditioned on a covid vaccine.

The “blocos”As the troupes that parade in the streets and attract millions of people to their presentations are known, they had also conditioned their participation in this year’s Carnival to a vaccine and an advanced immunization campaign.

The Mayor’s Office had already expressed its fear that high-level agglomerations promoted by a party such as Carnival would aggravate the health situation caused by the pandemic in Brazil, the second country with the most deaths from covid in the world after the United States, with about 213,000 deaths, and the third with the most infections after the United States and India, with about 8.7 million cases.

The parades of the so-called samba schools Rio Carnival Special Group, Considered the world’s largest open-air spectacle and the main attraction of the party, they gather 145,000 spectators in two nights at the Sambadrome, not counting the nearly 5,000 members of each of the 14 groups and the thousands of people needed to the event.

But concentration and direct contact is worse in the parades of the blocos, whose musical bands are followed in free street parades by millions of people.


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