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A second year with Carnival restrictions will hurt street vendors

The Omicron variant has led multiple Brazilian state capitals to call off Carnival parades, depriving street vendors of income

carnival omicron
Salvador is a traditional Carnival hotspot. But this year, the police will avoid major gatherings. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

With over 80 percent of the population vaccinated, Brazilians were excited about the prospects for Carnival in 2022, given most cities called off last year’s celebrations. Street vendors imagined they would be able to recoup losses incurred last year, when most streets remained empty. São Paulo, for example, had announced the biggest street party in its history, while Rio de Janeiro authorities said the city would no longer be held hostage to Covid.

But then Omicron happened.

Uh-oh. In the country’s two biggest cities, street parades have been banned and the traditional samba school contests were rescheduled to...

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