Four people were sentenced to up to 22 years in prison by a Brazilian court for their involvement in the nightclub fire which killed 242 people.

Members of a band set off flares to light the ceiling and ignited the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, south.

On Friday, two Gurizada Fandangueira members and the owner of the venue were found guilty of attempted murder and murder of victims who were mostly university students.

Elissandro Calegaro Spohr, club co-owner, and Mauro Lorenzo Hoffmann, club co-owners, received 22.5 and 19.5 years respectively in prison. Band members Luciano Bonilha Leao and Marcelo de Jesus dos Santos received 18 years each.

On the tenth day, Judge Orlando Faccini gave the verdict in an emotional trial that took place in Porto Alegre (the capital of Rio Grande do Sul).

Faccini stated that “the defendants’ culpability was high… this much life wasn’t taken away by chance.”

The venue did not have any functioning fire extinguishers and had only two doors to evacuate people from a crowded dance floor. There was also poor emergency signage.

Police believe the fire was started by sparks from a flare set by the musicians. The ceiling’s insulation ignited, emitting lethal fumes that turned the club into a death trap.

This ruling nullifies regulations that were previously issued by the national healthcare agency and requiring only a negative test of PCR for foreign arrivals.

Judge said that it was impossible to verify all visitors and stop the spread of Omicron variants.

Non-vaccinated tourists have found the country to be attractive thanks to its lenient measures.

This ruling is another setback for President Jair Bolsonaro who has repeatedly undermined efforts at controlling the spread of the virus to one of the most affected countries by the pandemic.

According to the president, he is not vaccinated and has denied Anvisa’s requests for proof of vaccination from his visitors.

Judge Luis Roberto Barroso stated that exceptions will be made for people coming from countries where they were unable to vaccine most of their population. They will be required to quarantine for five days upon arrival.

It is unclear when these new requirements will be implemented.