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The grand final of Miss World 2021 has been postponed after beauty queens were sensationally struck down by a Covid outbreak just hours before they were due to take to the stage.
Contestants are now stuck away in isolation in Puerto Rico, where the pagaent was set to take place.
It would be the first time in the competition's 70-year history that it has been cancelled in this way. Miss World 2020 was called off last year several months in advance.
An official statement from the Miss World Organisation read: “Miss World 2021 has temporarily postponed its global broadcast finale in Puerto Rico due to health and safety interests of contestants, staff, crew and general public.
“As of yesterday, additional safety measures were implemented in the best interest of the contestants, production team and spectators, understanding the event increased risks on the stage and in the dressing room.
“However, after additional positive cases were confirmed this morning after consulting with health officials and experts, the postponement decision was made.”
The finale will now be rescheduled, and will take place at Puerto Rico Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot in the next 90 days.
Organisers said they had come to the decision after consulting with virologists and medical experts.
A release said: "After additional positive cases were confirmed this morning after consulting with health officials and experts, the postponement decision was made."
Contestants could even spend Christmas in isolation if they fall ill, as they will only be allowed to go home when they are given a clean bill of health by doctors.
Julia Morley, chief executive of Miss World Ltd, said: “We are very much looking forward to the return of our contestants, (who we have grown to know and love), to compete for the Miss World crown.
“Puerto Rico offers a safe environment and a spectacular backdrop for filming the Miss World Festival!”
Last month it was confirmed that Miss World is bringing back its controversial bikini round.
For the first time since 2014, there will be a Top Model show where contestants can enter a beachwear competition.
The swimwear catwalk segment was axed seven years ago as judges put their focus on “brains and personality” rather than “physical beauty”.
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