The 70th final of the Miss World competition was canceled mere hours before it was due to start in Puerto Rico’s San Juan after more than 20 contestants tested positive for Covid-19.
The annual event was due to take place on Thursday, but will now be rescheduled “within the next 90 days.”
“Miss World 2021 temporarily postpones the global broadcast finale in Puerto Rico due to health and safety interest of contestants, staff, crew and general public,” the pageant organizers said in a Facebook statement.
In total, 23 out of 97 contestants — as well as 15 members of staff — tested positive for Covid-19, Puerto Rico Health Department epidemiologist Melissa Marzán told the media.
All contestants and staff who have caught the virus are self-isolating and will return to their home countries once “they are cleared by health officials and advisors,” the Miss World’s statement said.
With last year’s competition entirely canceled due to the pandemic, the 2019 winner, Toni-Ann Singh from Jamaica, still retains the beauty queen title.