Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in Brazil extend travel restrictions until at least April 30. Regional officials extend movement restrictions through late April.

This alert affects Brazil

This alert began 08 Apr 2020 18:18 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least late April
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in Brazil have extended travel and movement restrictions through at least late April as part of the country's efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities extended the closure of all ground border crossings to nonresident foreign nationals through at least May 2, while entry by water remains prohibited through April 30. Moreover, nonresident foreign nationals are barred from entering the country by air until April 30, except in cases where the traveler is in transit and the final destination country will permit them to enter. The restrictions do not apply to air, ground, or maritime freight transport.

Authorities in most states have imposed additional movement and business restrictions, including the following:

  • Sao Paulo: Authorities extended a statewide quarantine until at least April 22. The measure mandates the closure of all nonessential face-to-face services, including restaurants, bars, shopping centers, and schools. Critical health, sanitation, public transport and taxi, banking, telecommunications, food provision, and security services will be allowed to continue operating. Residents are urged to limit their time outside their homes.
  • Minas Gerais: Officials ordered the closure of nonessential businesses, a ban on gatherings of 30 or more people, and the cancellation of public events until at least April 30. Public transport may only allow half the capacity of passengers and inter-state transport is temporarily suspended. Schools are closed until further notice.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Authorities have extended orders requiring nonessential businesses to close, and residents to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks, until April 30 in most parts of the state. Public transport services have been limited, and buses and trains can only operate at half passenger capacity. Beaches, lakes, and rivers are closed to visitors, and residents are not allowed to travel between municipalities. However, most restrictions were temporarily lifted in 30 of the 92 municipalities, including Vassouras, Sao Francisco de Itabapoana, and Conceicao de Macabu. Schools in those 30 municipalities will remain closed, and inter-municipal travel banned.
  • Bahia: Officials have canceled most intercity public transport and have ordered health screenings for passengers entering the state by train from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; flights from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have been canceled until further notice. Most essential businesses and schools have closed until at least April 19.
  • Rio Grande do Sul: Officials extended the closure of nonessential businesses, schools, and a ban of gatherings of 30 or more people until at least April 30. Passengers riding public transport must be seated; standing-room passengers prohibited. Beaches are closed.
  • Parana: Officials ordered the closure of nonessential businesses and the cancellation of in-person lessons at schools and universities until further notice.
  • Pernambuco: Authorities ordered the closure of nonessential businesses and the cancellation of in-person lessons at schools and universities until further notice. Intercity public transport has also been suspended.
  • Brasilia (Distrito Federal): Officials extended orders to close nonessential businesses until at least May 3. Schools are closed until at least May 31.


Authorities may take additional measures in the coming days, especially if the spread of COVID-19 continues. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual police presence in the streets. 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 recent weeks 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. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

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.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Ministry of Health: saude.gov.br

Sao Paulo State - COVID-19 Updates: www.saopaulo.sp.gov.br/coronavirus/

Rio de Janeiro State - COVID-19 Updates: coronavirus.rj.gov.br