Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous carnival parade has been postponed for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The head of the League of Samba Schools, the group that organizes the two-day parade, announced the decision during a Rio de Janeiro news conference Thursday.
"Science has evolved a lot, but not to the point of giving us the guarantee that by February the population will be immunized," said the president of the Samba League, Jorge Castanheira, during a news conference.
Castanheira said no new date had been set for the parade, which was scheduled to take place in late February.
The pre-lent holiday usually attracts millions of Brazilian and foreign tourists to Rio de Janeiro. In 2020, more than 2 million people descended upon the city, bringing more than 700 million dollars in revenue, according to state tourism agency Riotur.
Riotur acting president Fabricio Villa Flor told CNN Brasil Friday that he’s going to set up a meeting with the samba parade organizers to determine a new date.
“We are going to discuss the possibility of a new design (for the parade), but it’s difficult given the large gathering of people that occurs during carnival,” Villa Flor said.
Brazil has the world’s third-worst coronavirus outbreak after the US and India, with more than 4.6 million cases, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University data.