Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rio to make beachgoers reserve space via app

Rio to make beachgoers reserve space via app

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Leme Beach in Rio de Janiero, Brazil reopened, along with other Rio beaches, on July 31. But the government is requesting beachgoers to use an app to reserve spots on the sand, otherwise they could face a $20 fine. AFP

Rio to make beachgoers reserve space via app

Seeking to contain Covid-19, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro announced Monday the iconic Brazilian beach city will require sunbathers to social distance and reserve space on the sand in advance via an app.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said Rio’s world-famous beaches could only fully reopen with clearly demarcated areas to keep people apart.

But implementing the measure could prove difficult in a city where the sand has already been packed in recent weeks despite the threat of a 107-real ($20) fine.

“People will be able to remain in demarcated areas, based on the time they arrive and also by reserving via an app,” Crivella told a news conference.

“That way, we can better organise something that’s not working well today.”

Rio authorities closed beaches in March to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 100,000 people in Brazil, the second-highest death toll in the pandemic, after the United States.

Rio Governor Wilson Witzel admitted at the time the measure amounted to “heresy” in a place known for its love of the beach.

With more than 14,000 deaths, Rio state has been hit harder by the virus than any other in Brazil except for Sao Paulo.

On July 31, Crivella reopened the Rio ocean front for swimming, but sitting on the sand is still off-limits.

Despite that, throngs of people have crowded legendary beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema on recent weekends, soaking up the sun, playing football in the sand and gazing at the green mountains dotting the turquoise water.

Crivella did not set a date for the reopening, saying officials would give more details soon.

In July, the mayor had said he would only allow people back on the beach when there was a coronavirus vaccine.

Other beach destinations have also experimented with technology to reopen.

Spain is using drones, Belgium is using sensors and cell-phone location trackers, and various places are asking beach-goers to reserve via websites or booking apps.

Rio also authorized business conferences and corporate events again, effective immediately.

On July 29, Brazil reopened to foreign visitors arriving by plane after a four-month suspension, hoping to revive its lockdown-devastated tourism industry despite its struggles to contain the virus.


  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped