Police officers are removing sunbathers from Rio De Janeiro's iconic Copacabana Beach as Brazil's coronavirus death toll rises to 72,000.
Municipal police officers were pictured removing sunbathers who flout the rules and stopping people who weren’t wearing masks.
Police urged tourists and locals to go home as they patrolled the nearly vacant expanse of beach, which is only available to people using it for individual exercise.
The city's mayor Marcello Crivella announced on Thursday that Rio de Janeiro beaches will remain closed until there is a COVID-19 vaccine available.
“Where you can’t use masks, the inclination is to only return when there is a vaccine, which is being tested, or when contamination is close to zero,” Crivella told reporters on Thursday.
It comes after Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus – after having previously being criticised for calling the virus a "little flu".
Bolsonaro, 65, contracted COVID-19 after months flouting social distancing recommendations and refusing to wear a mask.
The Brazilian government has been criticised for downplaying the gravity of the pandemic and questioning the validity of reported case numbers, suggesting they were being inflated to damage its reputation.
Brazil has become a major epicentre of COVID-19, with nearly 2 million confirmed cases – the second highest in the world after the US.
On Monday, an organisation critical of Brazil's response to the pandemic dug 100 graves with black crosses on Copacabana Beach as a reminder of the people who have died from the virus in the country so far.
In June the government stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections, instead only reporting cases and deaths in the previous 24 hours, prompting outrage from people accusing it of hiding the true extent of the outbreak in the country.
The health ministry came under fire for taking down a website that had shown daily, weekly and monthly figures on infections and deaths in each of the country's states.
Shortly after announcing he had COVID-19, Bolsonaro posted a video to his Facebook page showing him taking the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for his illness.
The video, which has clocked up over 6 million views, appears to show him taking a dose of the anti-malaria drug, which received global attention when US president Donald Trump endorsed it both as a preventative measure and as a treatment for the disease.
However, there is no evidence for its effectiveness in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
While admitting the drug had not been scientifically proven, Bolsonaro said "with all certainty" that it was working for him, and that he was feeling better.
“Today I’m a lot better, so certainly it’s working,” Bolsonaro said, according to an AP translation of the video.
Studies have found evidence of hydroxychloroquine being both ineffective in treating the virus and having dangerous side effects.
The World Health Organization announced on Saturday it would end a trial for hydroxychloroquine after researchers saw “little or no reduction” of hospitalised COVID-19 patients’ mortality rates.