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Brazil's tourism hub Rio de Janeiro has decided to close its beaches to tourists and locals till a vaccine is found.
Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced last week that the beaches won’t be open to sunbathers and swimmers until the availability of a vaccine for coronavirus.
This decision was taken as the city has seen a surge in cases and deaths, with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro also contracting the virus. The beaches had been reopened on July 2, along with bars and restaurants. However, many people were not following regulations of wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
“Where you can’t use masks, the inclination is to only return when there is a vaccine, which is being tested, or when contamination is close to zero,” an exasperated Crivella said at a press conference. “On the beach, you don’t use a mask and the level of infection goes up.”
At the moment, people can only access the beaches for exercise and water sports. However, the rules get broken regularly by crowds that throng the sands, especially on weekends, and minus masks or social distancing.
Right now, Brazil is the world’s second worst-hit country with more than 1,887,959 cases and over 72,000 deaths.
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