Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Brazil amend and extend international travel restrictions until July 29 due to COVID-19. Regional restrictions in place.

  • Alert Begins: 04 Jul 2020 02:00 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 29 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Officials in Brazil have revised and extended the ban on entry for nonresident foreign nationals by air, land, and water through at least July 29 as part of the country's efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The entry restrictions do not apply to air, ground, or maritime freight transport, nor to humanitarian transport. Nonetheless, the government has expanded the list of exceptions for foreign nationals permitted to enter. Travelers may only enter through Sao Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) in Rio de Janeiro, Viracopos International Airport (VCP) in Campinas, and Brasilia International Airport (BSB) in Brasilia. The exemptions include:


  • Foreign nationals with a layover in Brazil en route to their destination countries are exempt as long as they do not leave the international area of the airport.


  • Foreign nationals will be allowed to cross the border into Brazil, provided they have proof of an onward flight that takes them to their country of residence.


  • Foreign nationals who intend to stay for a short period, for artistic, sporting, business, or study purposes, will be permitted to enter.


Domestically, authorities in most states have imposed additional movement and business restrictions of varying degrees of restrictiveness, such as suspending nonessential commercial activity, temporarily canceling in-person classes at schools and universities, restricting public transportation, and mandating the use of a protective mask for all individuals in public, despite President Jair Bolsonaro sanctioning a law mandating the use of masks in enclosed areas.

Some local governments, including in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, previously imposed mandatory stay-at-home orders; these orders are continually being assessed and modified. While Rio de Janeiro is continuing with its phased reopening of the economy, authorities in Sao Paulo have extended quarantine measures through July 14. State and municipal officials could continue to tighten, reapply, or deescalate their local restrictive measures over the coming weeks, depending on local disease activity and government preparedness to respond to the disease. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Brazilian authorities are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The varied level of restrictions across Brazil is largely a result of disagreements over social isolation policies between state governors and President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been accused of not taking decisive enough action to prevent the spread of the disease.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Abide by local health and safety measures. Confirm appointments and travel arrangements.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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