Vaccine pass becomes mandatory in tourist hotspot Rio

Rio requires proof of vaccination to visit certain tourist sites, including the Christ the Redeemer statue. AFP/Fabio Motta

RIO DE JANEIRO - Accessing Rio de Janeiro's tourist sites became conditional on presentation of a coronavirus vaccine certificate, as authorities seek to encourage people to get their shots.

The requirement also applies for access to other public spaces such as cinemas, theatres, gyms, museums, sports stadiums and conference venues, but not restaurants, bars or shopping malls.

Foreign visitors are allowed to present an international health pass.

On Wednesday morning, the queue for the cable car to the top of the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain advanced without incident, with most visitors clutching paper or mobile phone app versions of their vaccine records.

The move, Rio mayor Eduardo Paes said, was "important for the city to be able to return to normal, for people to be able to frequent public places again."

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Earlier, he had said: "We're going to make things difficult for those who don't want to be vaccinated... It's inconceivable for people who think they're protected without the vaccine to have normal lives. They won't."

Rio, a city of 6.8 million people famous for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking views, has seen a surge of coronavirus infections recently because of the Delta variant.

The city has registered more than 30,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Rio is betting on widespread vaccination to bring back beloved events such as its annual carnival, the world's largest, which had to be canceled this year because of the pandemic.


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