São Paulo Postpones Carnival and Rio Suspends New Year's Eve Party Due to Coronavirus

Rio New Year's Eve brings together 3 million people on Rio's Copacabana beach

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo

The mayor of São Paulo, Bruno Covas (PSDB), announced on Friday (24) the postponement of Carnival 2021 because of the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Neither samba schools nor street carnival groups will parade in February. The new official date is yet to be defined.

The 2020 face-to-face LGBT Pride parade, already postponed from the first to the second half, was also canceled. The 2021 edition was postponed to November next year. The two events, together with the Brazilian Formula 1 race, also canceled by the organizers, are the ones that bring the most tourists and money to the city of São Paulo.

Rio 2019. Foto: Gabriel Monteiro/Riotur

"We finally hit the hammer, and we are postponing the carnival next year. We talked to several Carnival blocks, the traditional blocks of the city. And both the samba schools and the blocks understood the impossibility of organizing the carnival for February next year," Covas said.

The City of Rio de Janeiro has suspended the traditional New Year's Eve at Copacabana beach, which usually gathers up to 3 million people in the city. The municipality pointed out that the New Year's party is not feasible in the current pandemic scenario without a vaccine. Still, it intends to adapt the event to the new reality.

Riotur (municipal tourism agency) intends to present to Mayor Marcelo Crivella (Republicans) new possible formats for the event, without the direct presence of the public, in a virtual model. According to Riotur, the idea is to reach the audience through TV and digital platforms.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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