Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Brazilian authorities ease COVID-19-related business restrictions in several states, as of Sept. 24. Travel restrictions remain.

Alert Begins 25 Sep 2020 01:16 AM UTC
Alert Expires 08 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Authorities in Sao Paulo, Bahia, and Minas Gerais states have eased restrictions put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as of Sept. 24. Restrictions in other areas of the country remain in force.

Nationwide, the prohibition on most nonresident foreign nationals from entering the country by land or water remains in effect until further notice. Brazilian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign residents working for international organizations or foreign governments, as well as close family members of Brazilian citizens and residents, or people working for trade or humanitarian purposes are exempt from the ban. Foreign citizens are allowed to enter Brazil by air, except for the Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraiba, Rondonia, Rio Grande do Sul, and Tocantins states. Before traveling to Brazil, visitors must prove they have health insurance, and their visits must not be longer than 90 days.

Domestically, authorities in most states have imposed additional, varying movement and business restrictions. Some of the restrictions in the largest states are:


  • Sao Paulo: Starting Oct. 9, museums, theaters, and social events will be permitted in the city of Sao Paulo. As of Sept. 24, most parts of the state of Sao Paulo is now on Phase 3 of their five-phase plan. Under Phase 3, retail stores, restaurants, cinemas, personal care, theme parks, and other businesses may open at 40-percent capacity. No region in the state is on Phase 4 or Phase 5, the least restrictive phases. Authorities continue to urge all persons to remain at home except to perform essential tasks.


  • Rio de Janeiro: Authorities have eased multiple business restrictions, allowing restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, tourist sites, and personal care businesses to operate at 50-percent capacity. Residents must wear protective face coverings in public settings. In the Metropolitan Area of Rio de Janeiro, sporting and cultural events outdoors are also allowed.


  • Minas Gerais: Officials are implementing a four-tiered system to reopen the economy, dividing the state into several regions. No region is on Phase 4, the least restrictive. Starting Sept. 26, live music shows and night clubs will be permitted to operate in Belo Horizonte. Bars and restaurants are allowed to open without restrictions on closing times, as well as on weekends in Belo Horizonte and surrounding areas.


  • Bahia: Since Sept. 21, some beaches have been allowed to reopen. Authorities have suspended inter-municipal transport between some municipalities. Public events remain canceled statewide. The most-affected municipalities have a nightly curfew in place. Eased business restrictions in Eunapolis allow restaurants and bars to operate at 40-percent capacity. Residents must wear protective face coverings in public settings.


State and municipal officials could continue to modify their local restrictive measures, 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. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

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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