THE RIO Carnival festival 2021 has been postponed indefinitely for the first time in 100 years, due to the pandemic. The annual event usually attracts 90,000 attendees, and marks the beginning of Lent.
Rio’s League of Samba Schools, LIESA, announced that the spread of Covid-19 has made it impossible for the parades to go ahead.
LEISA President Jorge Castanheira, who explained that “it’s increasingly difficult to have a carnival without a vaccine.”
Luiz Antonio Simas is a historian who specialises in Rio’s Carnival. In an interview, he released the following statement: “Carnival is a party upon which many humble workers depend.
“The samba schools are community institutions, and the parades are just one detail of all that – the entire cultural and productive chain was disrupted by Covid.”
Brazil’s first case of coronavirus was on February 26, just a single day after this year’s carnival ended. Brazil has had the third-worst coronavirus outbreak globally, with 4.6 million cases. The current death toll is 139, 808 – the second highest after the US.
Rio de Janeiro’s City Hall is yet to announce whether street parties that usually take place across the city will also be cancelled.