Sun worshipers will have to RESERVE their spot on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches through an app and enforce social distance rules to stem the coronavirus outbreak
- Rio’s beachgoers had to distance themselves and reserve space in advance
- Beaches can only fully reopen with free areas to keep people apart, the mayor said
- Brazil has the second highest Covid-19 death toll, with more than 100,000 dead
In an effort to curb COVID-19, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro has announced that the iconic Brazilian beach city must keep sun seekers at a social distance in advance via an app and reserve space on the sand.
Mayor Marcelo Crivella said on Monday that Rio’s world-famous beaches could only fully reopen with clearly demarcated areas to keep people apart.
But implementing the measure could be difficult in a city where sand has already been packed in recent weeks, despite the threat of a 107 real ($ 20) fine.
The mayor of Rio de Janeiro has announced that the iconic Brazilian beach city will need sun worshipers at a social distance and will reserve space on the sand in advance via an app. Above, people on the beach in Rio de Janeiro on August 9
Mayor Marcelo Crivella said on Monday that Rio’s world-famous beaches could only fully reopen with clearly demarcated areas to keep people apart. Above an aerial view of Recreio beach in Rio de Janeiro on Monday
Implementation of the measure can be difficult in a city where sand has already been picked up in recent weeks. Above surfers on Recreio beach in Rio de Janeiro
“People can stay in demarcated areas, based on the time they arrive and also by booking through an app,” Crivella told a press conference.
‘That way we can organize something better that doesn’t work well today.’
Rio authorities closed beaches in March to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 100,000 people in Brazil, the second-highest death toll in the pandemic, after the United States.
Rio Governor Wilson Witzel admitted at the time that the measure amounted to ‘heresy’ in a place known for its love of the beach.
With more than 14,000 dead, the state of Rio has been hit harder by the virus than any other state in Brazil, except Sao Paulo.
Tourists who want to sunbathe on the beach will have to reserve their place via a mobile application. Pontal beach pictured above
On July 31, Crivella reopened Rio’s ocean front for swimming, but sitting on the sand is still off limits.
Despite this, crowds of people have visited over-crowded legendary beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema over the past few weekends, soaking up the sun, playing soccer in the sand and gazing at the green mountains in the turquoise water.
Crivella has not set a date for the reopening and said officials would provide more details soon.
In July, the mayor had said he would only allow people back onto the beach if there was a coronavirus vaccine.
On July 31, Crivella reopened Rio’s ocean front for swimming, but sitting on the sand is still off limits. Above an aerial view of Pontal Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Monday
Other beach destinations have also been experimenting with technology to reopen.
Spain uses drones, Belgium uses sensors and location trackers for mobile phones and beachgoers are asked to make reservations through websites or booking apps in several places.
Rio also resumed approval for corporate conferences and corporate events with immediate effect.
On July 29, Brazil reopened to foreign visitors arriving by air after a four-month suspension, hoping to revive the tourism industry devastated by the lockdown, despite struggles to contain the virus.