Rio de Janeiro is shutting down its beaches in the state in a crucial effort to slow down COVID-19

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Beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were closed on Friday in an effort to slow the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent an already fragile hospital system from completely collapsing.

The decision to close the beaches in the country’s third most populous state for 10 days comes at a time when sun worshipers – including visitors from the United States and abroad – were already planning to spend their Holy Week vacation there. bring.

The restrictive measures were passed by Acting State Governor Cláudio Castro on Wednesday during a meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro, who reiterated earlier this week that he was unconvinced about the COVID-19 restrictions.

The plan to close the beaches runs from Friday to April 4, Easter Sunday.

A favorite destination for international students, Rio de Janeiro’s beaches were also closed last weekend to stem the wave of the epidemic.

A favorite destination for international students, Rio de Janeiro's beaches are closed from Friday to April 4, Easter Sunday, as part of the governor's plan to contain the COVID-19 wave.  Pictured is Copacabana Beach, which was closed last weekend due to a second wave of the epidemic that has so far caused 12,320,169 confirmed coronavirus cases and 303,462 deaths.

A favorite destination for international students, Rio de Janeiro beaches are closed from Friday to April 4, Easter Sunday, as part of the governor’s plan to contain the COVID-19 wave. Pictured is Copacabana Beach, which was closed last weekend due to a second wave of the epidemic that has so far caused 12,320,169 confirmed coronavirus cases and 303,462 deaths.

A team of officers saw sun worshipers approaching and asked them to leave Sunday on a beach in the city of Macae, located 180 kilometers from the municipality of Rio de Janeiro.  Beaches in the state were closed last weekend and a new measure came into effect on Friday that will close them again until April 4

A team of officers saw sun worshipers approaching and asked them to leave Sunday on a beach in the city of Macae, located 180 kilometers from the municipality of Rio de Janeiro.  Beaches in the state were closed last weekend and a new measure came into effect on Friday that will close them again until April 4

A team of officers saw sun worshipers approaching and asked them to leave Sunday on a beach in the city of Macae, located 180 kilometers from the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. Beaches in the state were closed last weekend and a new measure came into effect on Friday that will close them again until April 4

People stay on the sand at Leme beach as individual sports are allowed as part of new measures imposed by the state of Rio de Janeiro for 10 days to stem the advance of the coronavirus disease

People stay on the sand at Leme beach as individual sports are allowed as part of new measures imposed by the state of Rio de Janeiro for 10 days to stem the advance of the coronavirus disease

People stay on the sand at Leme beach as individual sports are allowed as part of new measures imposed by the state of Rio de Janeiro for 10 days to stem the advance of the coronavirus disease

Protesters join a protest on Friday against COVID-19 restrictions on workers along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Protesters join a protest on Friday against COVID-19 restrictions on workers along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Protesters join a protest on Friday against COVID-19 restrictions on workers along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

‘We must act urgently, quickly and with courage. I am confident that together we will build this pact in defense of life, ” Castro tweeted.

‘Today is the first day of our stop plan and I thank the people of Rio de Janeiro for their cooperation. It is essential to double the concern to overcome this moment. ‘

The preventive measure ensures that restaurants and bars remain open until 11pm, but only provide pick-up, delivery, or drive-thru services.

Residents are only allowed to play sports and surf on the beaches.

Individuals and groups will also be prohibited from entering the Tijuca Park National Forest to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro’s main tourist attraction.

Governor Castro said he would focus on preventing residents of Rio de Janeiro from traveling to the countryside, where they could spend the week at lakes where social distance measures would likely be ignored.

A woman wears a T-shirt with a photo of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a protest Friday against new measures taken to stop the spread of the corona virus in Rio de Janeiro

A woman wears a T-shirt with a photo of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a protest Friday against new measures taken to stop the spread of the corona virus in Rio de Janeiro

A woman wears a T-shirt with a photo of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a protest Friday against new measures taken to stop the spread of the corona virus in Rio de Janeiro

People are taking surfing lessons on Arpoador beach because individual sports are allowed, after the city of Rio de Janeiro declared a 10-day shutdown to contain the wave of the coronavirus.

People are taking surfing lessons on Arpoador beach because individual sports are allowed, after the city of Rio de Janeiro declared a 10-day shutdown to contain the wave of the coronavirus.

People are taking surfing lessons on Arpoador beach because individual sports are allowed, after the city of Rio de Janeiro declared a 10-day shutdown to contain the wave of the coronavirus.

Protesters hold signs Friday as part of a protest in Rio de Janeiro against lack of beds in intensive care units in hospitals across Brazil

Protesters hold signs Friday as part of a protest in Rio de Janeiro against lack of beds in intensive care units in hospitals across Brazil

Protesters hold signs Friday as part of a protest in Rio de Janeiro against lack of beds in intensive care units in hospitals across Brazil

Data from John Hopkins University showed that Brazil had recorded 12,320,169 confirmed coronavirus cases and 303,462 deaths – both tolls coming in second for the United States.

The state of Rio de Janeiro ranks second in the country with 35,563 deaths and seventh with 632,533 cases.

Castro, who was appointed interim governor in August 2020 after former Governor Wilson Witzel was removed due to an investigation into the fraudulent purchase of COVID-19 supplies, met Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco and state governors on Friday morning to devise a plan to more beds for patients who need to be treated in a hospital intensive care unit.

A man waves a Brazilian flag during a protest Friday against new measures taken by the governor of Rio de Janeiro

A man waves a Brazilian flag during a protest Friday against new measures taken by the governor of Rio de Janeiro

A man waves a Brazilian flag during a protest Friday against new measures taken by the governor of Rio de Janeiro

Thousands overcrowded Ipamena Beach in Rio de Janeiro in January despite record numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths

Thousands overcrowded Ipamena Beach in Rio de Janeiro in January despite record numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths

Thousands overcrowded Ipamena Beach in Rio de Janeiro in January despite record numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths

According to National Council of State Health Secretaries data seen by Jornal Nacional newspaper, there were 6,370 coronavirus patients who needed intensive care and were still waiting for a bed.

At least 582 of those sickly patients are in Rio de Janeiro.

‘The battle to open beds is a priority. The service network is expanding daily and the greatest hope in the country is the advance of vaccination, ” Castro wrote on Twitter.