WorldNew Year: Rio de Janeiro received the party again...

New Year: Rio de Janeiro received the party again in Copacabana, but with fewer people

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With its fireworks and the tradition of dressing in white, Rio de Janeiro He returned this Friday to celebrate his New Year’s Eve party on Copacabana beach, although with less public due to the rain and restrictions due to the pandemic.

To the sound of Garota de Ipanema and other Brazilian classics, 14 tons of fireworks enchanted the Cariocas and tourists who came down to the beach, in a night of unstable weather and fewer crowds than before the pandemic.

“It was exciting, because we spent a lot of time in a pandemic and now that the fires have returned, they seem more beautiful, they are more significant,” Andreia Viana, 47, from Rio de Janeiro, told AFP, who watched attentively the 16-minute pyrotechnic show with family and friends. friends, dressed in a yellow jumpsuit “to attract prosperity.”

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The intermittent drizzle that fell throughout the day gave a truce at midnight and encouraged those who went down to the sand to uncork their sparkling wines, throw flowers into the sea and take selfies at the famous New Year’s Eve party, which should last until early morning.

The expectation of the hotel sector is of an occupancy close to 100% on the weekend.

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But before the arrival of the omicron variant, the authorities took a series of measures to reduce the crowds in Copacabana, such as the cancellation of musical shows, the closure of the subway, the ban on the circulation of cars after certain hours and the diversion of buses from other neighborhoods.

The result was an image very distant from the last ‘Reveillon’, at the beginning of 2020, when a record of almost three million people filled the beach from end to end.

Last year the party was canceled due to the pandemic, which has caused more than 619,000 deaths in Brazil.

– “Cacerolazo” against Bolsonaro –

The city burned fires in nine other parts of the city, encouraging the public to go to the closest to avoid crowds.

“I expected many more people, that it would be stressful, but it’s calm, I like it,” admitted Colombian neuroscientist Alejandra Luna, 28, who lives in Austria and decided to cross the Atlantic to celebrate the new year with Colombian and European friends.

His wish for 2022 is to be able to “give hugs and kisses without thinking much”, something that the pandemic has taken away from him.

Luna was satisfied to have to present her proof of vaccination to stay in the city, a measure by the local authorities that was again criticized by the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro in his last speech of the year, previously recorded and broadcast on the national chain on Friday night.

“We do not support the health pass or any restriction to those who do not wish to be vaccinated,” said the president in his speech, which took place in the midst of an intense ‘cacerolazo’ of protest in various capitals of Brazil.

– Omicron –

Other Brazilian capitals such as Sao Paulo or Salvador canceled their year-end celebrations due to the vertiginous increase in cases in the world caused by the omicron variant.

Unlike other countries, the number of coronavirus cases is still under control in Brazil, although the data collected in recent weeks is partial due to a cyberattack that the Health Ministry site suffered at the beginning of the month.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said Thursday that the city should prepare for a “significant increase in cases”, as the percentage of positive results among the tests carried out increased from 0.7% to 5.5% in the last week.

More than 67% of the 213 million Brazilians have so far received two anticovid doses and 12% a third injection.

As cities such as Moscow and Sydney welcomed the New Year with fireworks, many governments have decided to restore restrictions for this festive period.

Mexico City or Bangkok canceled their New Year celebrations, Greece banned music in bars and restaurants and Pope Francis suspended his usual New Year’s Eve visit to the manger in St. Peter’s Square.

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