Rio de Janeiro’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, announced on social media that due to the current epidemiological situation the New Year’s Eve celebrations have been canceled in the city. Brazil is one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. The contagion cases continue to increase despite the vaccination campaign. The decision comes days after the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, was confirmed in the country.
“We respect science. Since there are divergent opinions between scientific committees, we will always stick with the most restrictive one. The City Hall committee says you can. The state one says no. So we won’t,” Paes announced on December 4th.
The official celebration of New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro has been canceled.Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor
Popularized by music, movies and mainstream media, Copacabana has impeccable shores with space enough for several thousands of people. In the past, popular artists such as Rod Steward and Lenny Kravitz have attracted people in droves, both local and international, to enjoy music.
The New Year’s Eve in Copacabana is known by the strict rule of wearing white clothing. It is not mandatory but if someone wears an outfit of a different color, he or she will stand out. This has been a tradition in every New Year’s Eve in Rio, specifically in Copacabana, and there is a very important reason for this tradition: it portrays the welcoming of the New Year with the hopes for peace and prosperity.
“I take the decision with sadness, but we have no way to organize the celebration without the guarantee of all health authorities. Unfortunately we have no way to organize a party of this size,” he wrote in another post.
In a third post on the same topic, he said he hopes that New Year’s Eve from 2022 to 2023 will be different and that the crowds will return to Copacabana.
This week it became mandatory to present a vaccination certificate to enter hotels, hairdressers and restaurants. Like Rio de Janeiro, other regional capitals in Brazil had already canceled the festivities.
The pandemic has already caused the death of 615,000 people in Brazil. The country has more than 22 million people infected.