Severity: Critical Alert

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

This alert affects Brazil

This alert began 11 May 2020 14:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Officials in Brazil will maintain travel and movement restrictions through at least late May, as part of the country's efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). National authorities extended the ban on entry of all nonresident foreign nationals by air until at least May 28, with the exception of those doing a layover in Brazil en route to their countries, as long as they do not leave the international area of the airport. Ground border crossings remain banned for nonresident foreign nationals through at least May 29. Foreigners will be allowed to cross the border into Brazil to take a flight that takes them to their country of residence, but they will need permission from the Federal Police. Entry by water remains prohibited through May 24. The entry restrictions do not apply to air, ground, or maritime freight transport, nor to humanitarian 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 May 31. 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. The use of face coverings is mandatory inside the public transport system.
  • Minas Gerais: Officials released guidelines for local authorities to decide whether to lift business restrictions. Each municipality will determine when it lifts restrictions and on which economic sectors, depending on the levels of COVID-19 outbreaks in their region.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Authorities have extended orders requiring nonessential businesses to close and residents to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks until May 31 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.
  • Bahia: Officials have canceled most intercity public transport and have ordered health screenings for passengers entering the state by train and air from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo until further notice. Most essential businesses are closed, and schools will remain shut until at least May 18. The use of face coverings is mandatory for workers, and for all travelers in public transport.
  • Rio Grande do Sul: Officials maintain the closure of schools and universities until further notice. All residents must wear face coverings, and maintain a proper distance from each other. Some municipalities have been allowed to reopen businesses while limiting the number of customers permitted, and enhancing sanitation procedures.
  • Parana: Officials ordered the closure of nonessential businesses and the cancellation of in-person lessons at schools and universities until further notice. The use of face coverings in public is mandatory.
  • 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, and a ban on gatherings of ten or more people remains in place. The use of face coverings in public is mandatory.
  • Brasilia (Distrito Federal): Officials extended orders to close nonessential businesses until at least May 18. 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.


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