Politicians in São Paulo are bending over backward to avoid a full-scale lockdown in Brazil’s most-populated city, with the local healthcare network approaching collapse. After failed attempts to raise social isolation rates by imposing congestion measures or simply blocking major avenues, São Paulo city councilors passed a bill transferring two public holidays — Corpus Christi (June 11) and Black Consciousness Day (November 20) to this Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be an optional holiday for companies.
São Paulo Governor João Doria, in the meantime, proposed transferring the July 9 state holiday to Monday, creating a six-day “weekend.” “It has become clear over the past 56 days that social isolation rates go up during weekends and holidays, which helps contain the pandemic. We hope we will get isolation rates similar to regular holidays this time around,” said Mr. Doria. Official data shows that social isolation rates in the state were 54 percent on Sunday. The highest of the month was 59 percent on May 3, also a Sunday.Support this coverage →