Rio reopens Christ the Redeemer, other sites after virus closure

Latest News

Rio reopens Christ the Redeemer, other sites after virus closure

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

RIO DE JANEIRO,Brazil (AFP)— Major tourist sites in Rio de Janeiro, including the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking the Brazilian city, reopened to the public today after being closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The reopening of the Christ (monument) symbolises the reopening of Brazil to tourism," Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said at a ceremony at the base of the statue.

Visitors will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing, and will not be allowed to lie on the ground -- as many do in attempting to get the best angle for photos at the feet of the huge Art Deco statue with its arms outstretched.

Located atop 710-metre-high (2,300-feet) Corcovado hill in the centre of Rio in Tijuca national park, the monument offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city and its environs.

Since social-distancing measures forced its closure in March, Christ the Redeemer has continued to function as a religious sanctuary, offering public masses and holding vigils to honor healthcare workers and victims of the pandemic.

Also reopening to the public on Saturday were the Pao de Acucar cable car, which offers its own panoramic view of the city, the AquaRio aquarium and the gigantic Rio Star, Latin America's largest Ferris wheel, inaugurated only last year in the port area.

Brazil's National Confederation of Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC) estimates that the country's tourism sector has lost 154 billion reales (US$28.4 billion) over the last five months, operating at only 14 per cent of its capacity.

The state of Rio de Janeiro, with 17 million inhabitants, has registered more than 14,500 deaths and nearly 190,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to official statistics.

The capital itself, which in June began a gradual economic reopening, has seen 33 deaths and 1,365 new cases in just the last 24 hours.

Brazil, with 106,500 deaths and 3.2 million cases to date, is the second hardest-hit country in the world, after the US.

With no certainty about when a vaccine might be available, Rio authorities have announced a new format for the year-end celebrations that traditionally bring millions of people to Copacabana beach for a huge fireworks display.

This year, the authorities are working to organize a series of smaller celebrations around the city and are urging people to watch the events online.

Rio's world-famous carnival, with its huge street parties, also risks being cancelled by the pandemic.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon