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COVID-19 forces closure of iconic beaches in Rio de Janeiro and Miami

by editor

Rio de Janeiro”s iconic beaches were closed to the public on Saturday for the first time since they reopened in July 2020, as authorities are looking to curb a recent spike in numbers of hospitalisations with the health system already working at full capacity.

On Friday, municipal Health Secretary Daniel Soranz announced the new restrictions during the weekly COVID-19 Epidemiological Bulletin, displaying data that showed the rise in hospitalizations and ICU occupancy in the city.

Military Police and the Municipal Guard patrolled the beaches, asking those who ignore the new restrictions to leave.

To some Rio residents, it’s not enough to close beaches but consider other places where crowds gather.

City authorities will announce new measures on Monday after a meeting with the scientific committee.

According to the Ministry of Health, Brazil recorded 2,724 deaths in the last 24 hours, reaching over 290.000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Brazil is in the midst of an alarming spike of COVID-19 cases, with nearly 3,000 deaths a day for the first time since the pandemic began.

In the United States, an emergency 8pm-6am curfew for Miami Beach, effective immediately after hard-partying spring break crowds trashed restaurants, brawled in the streets and gathered by the thousands without masks or social distancing, according to authorities.

They blamed overwhelming and out-of-control spring break crowds for the curfew, which was taking effect Saturday night in South Beach, one of the nation’s top party spots. Tourists and hotel guests are being told to stay indoors during curfew hours.

Officials and businesses in Florida have struggled to balance courting tourists to boost the economy while doing so safely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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