Rio Carnival cancelled as omicron cases surge

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Rio Carnival cancelled as omicron cases surge
Agência Brasil Fotografias, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro have cancelled the Carnival street celebrations for the second year in a row, this time due to the rising number of omicron cases.

The authorities in Rio de Janeiro have decided to cancel the huge street parades of the upcoming Carnival in light of the spread of the omicron variant, which is causing cases to surge in Brazil.

“The street Carnival will not take place in 2022 in the same way that it did in 2020,” said the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes. He made the announcement on social networks after a meeting with the representatives of the groups in charge of organising the street parties. The samba school parades, which are held in a more controlled environment, are still set to go ahead at the end of February.

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“The Street Carnival, due to its very nature and democratic character, makes any type of audit impossible,” added Paes.

This is the second year in a row that the pandemic has caused the Rio Carnival street celebrations to be cancelled. The Carnival is the biggest in the world and takes place every year before Lent.

Paes stated that as they hoped for a more controlled environment, they had suggested holding events in February in three different spaces in the city, but that proposal was not to everyone’s liking. A new meeting will be held on Friday to try to reach an agreement.


At the 2020 Carnival, the last before the pandemic, around 7 million people participated in the street parades, the largest of which had up to a million people.

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