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The samba school parades to be held in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (southeastern Brazil) at the end of February will be postponed to April due to the current state of the covid-19 pandemic, the mayors of the two cities announced on Friday.
In a joint statement, the two cities announced that "under the guidance of their health secretaries, they opted to postpone the holding of the samba school parades for the Tiradentes holiday weekend (April 21)."
"The decision was taken respecting the current scenario of the covid-19 pandemic in Brazil and the need, at this time, to preserve lives and join forces to boost vaccination throughout the national territory," they highlighted.
The measure was taken after a meeting attended by the Mayor and Health Secretary of Rio, Eduardo Paes and Daniel Soranz, respectively, their counterparts in São Paulo, Ricardo Nunes and Edson Aparecido, and the presidents of the samba school leagues.
Just this week, São Paulo authorities had informed of the protocols for celebrating the parades at the Anhembi Sambódromo, which included the mandatory use of masks among the participants and a limitation to a maximum of 70 percent of the audience in the stands.
The samba school parades in the sambadromes of Rio and São Paulo were the last expressions of the February carnival to resist a wave of cancellations in other cities.
Previously, these two capitals gave up the street carnival organized by the "blocos," street parades of musicians that congregate millions of people.
The authorities then decided to bet everything on the carnival of the samba schools, where it was theoretically easier to establish controls and sanitary protocols. Still, the increase in contagions caused by the omicron variant did not make it possible.