1. People in the water off Copacabana beach and pan towards people at the beach
2. Various of thousands of beachgoers at Ipanema
3. Doctor Paulo Roberto Silva, a medical surgeon on holiday
4. SOUNDBITE(Portuguese) Doctor Paulo Roberto Silva, vacationing 70-year-old medical surgeon:
"I am in favor of keeping the beach open, it's the only outlet people have. We know that getting infected on the beach, in the open air is more difficult than being inside an elevator, a bus or inside the metro."
Temperatures on the famed beaches of Rio reached over 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) on Friday, just as Covid-19 infection numbers prompted city authorities to impose a "Code Red," restricting leisure activities in the hope of slowing the spread of coronavirus.
But residents and tourists still flocked to the sand and water, looking for relief from the sweltering temperatures in spite of the risk.
Many were mask-less and loudly frolicking with one another on the sand and in the water, reflecting widespread "pandemic fatigue" and a determination to enjoy traditional summer activities in this seaside city.
"There is always going to be variants (of the Covid virus), for the rest of our lives, so we are going to stay inside our homes, terrorized, because there is a variant? I don't think so, no…," 71-year-old retiree Cristina Cesar declared while taking her daily walk along the beachside path in Ipanema.
Many consider the open air and beach the safest place to find relief from the pandemic, despite the announcement a new, and potentially more infectious variant of Covid is now circulating in the country.
A doctor on holiday says although he won't sit inside a restaurant for a meal, he feels safe enough in the open air of the beach.
"I am in favor of keeping the beach open, it's the only outlet people have. We know that getting infected on the beach, in the open air is more difficult than being inside an elevator, a bus or inside the metro," 70-year-old Dr. Paulo Roberto Silva said, before descending onto the sand at Ipanema.
As the pandemic drags on, and new challenges emerge in containing Covid-19, Rio's city authorities will continue to confront how to balance safety with the public desire to return to some form of normalcy in the midst of a health emergency.