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Carnivals in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo postponed to April

Samba school parade at the sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro
© StanislavBeloglazov / Shutterstock

The annual carnival processions in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are postponed from February to April. The local authorities made this decision because of the worsening Coronavirus situation and the spread of the Omicron strain.

On Friday, January 21, a remote meeting of mayors and health ministers of Brazil's two largest metropolitan areas was held. The heads of the local samba schools also participated. It has been pre-agreed that the carnivals will begin on April 21. The celebrations were planned to coincide with the date of the death of the national hero Tiradentes. Authorities have discussed rules for the events. They provide that all participants and spectators must wear masks.

"The decision was made given the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and the need to save lives at this time and join efforts to carry out vaccinations throughout the country," Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo authorities said in a joint statement. Over the past seven days, the daily number of cases in Brazil has held steady at 120,000. The anti-record number of new infections was updated twice during the week.

Rio de Janeiro's Carnival has been canceled for the second year in a row. The last time it took place was in February 2020. Last year, the festivities were not held throughout Brazil.