Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.
Brazil remains fully open to tourism from all countries but a PCR test is now required to enter the country.
Also, a valid visa is required (if a visa is compulsory for your country), proof of outcoming flight from Brazil within 90 days of entry, and proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment.
Brazil opening tourism – Latest Updates
Brazil’s government has decided to impose new travel restrictions in order to slow down the spread of the 3rd wave.
From December 30, a PCR test is required for all visitors (foreigners and Brazilians) entering the country. The test must be taken no longer than 72-hours before the departure.
Brazil has extended the restrictions on entry of foreigners by land and sea until at least December 11.
Foreign travelers who need to only transit through the territory by land or sea are still allowed.
Brazil’s COVID cases rate is slowly decreasing and daily cases are ranging between 10k-25k per day. Air borders remain fully open to all countries, despite the U.S. CDC granting them a Level 4 warning.
Traveling is only recommended for essential purposes due to the high risk of infection. (cdc.gov)
Please note that not all airports in Brazil are open for international flights.
There are still bans for airports in five states. (Updated Nov 25)
Mato Grosso do Sul,
Rio Grande do Sul,
However, the airports in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are both open for international travel, providing tourists with convenient entries into the country.
Brazil’s General COVID-19 Situation
Brazil’s announcement of reopening came as a surprise to many. Brazil had been the second hardest-hit country in the world, surpassed only by the United States.
When the Brazilian government issued an order on July 29, many expected it to be for an extension of the existing travel ban, believing Brazil to be one of the last to reopen because of the general situation of the country, especially since neighboring countries like Argentina or Colombia were tightening their restrictions.
Instead, Brazil reopened its entire borders to air travelers, allowing tourists to stay in the country for up to 90 days.
The official statement for the border reopening can be found here.
While all tourists can enter the country, other governments have been reluctant to take reciprocal action due to the general state of the coronavirus in Brazil.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly defended the government’s decisions to keep the economy open, saying that there is enough medical equipment to treat the virus.
While individual state governments may have stricter requirements, those requirements are generally superseded by the national government’s policies, even in cases where the policies may conflict.
With regard to face mask policies, mask use is mandatory in public spaces.
However, enforcement of the mask use policy has been lax, with noted instances where people gathered in public areas without any masks on.
Make sure your travel insurance covers Covid
As travel insurance is now required for entering the country, please take steps to make sure that yours covers COVID-19-related procedures. If your travel insurance does not, there are options available that do, such as WorldNomads and SafetyWing.
Note that travel insurance coverage may differ depending on your nationality, so double-check their limitations and exclusion policies prior to travel.
Flights into Brazil can be found for relatively cheap, despite a 90% reduction in international air travel into the country. A typical round trip ticket from New York to Sao Paulo costs about $600 if booked enough in advance, which is lower than typical rates for such a long flight.
Note that Brazil-bound flights have a “no change” policy, meaning that you cannot change the flight to a different date or time.
Traveling in Brazil
Traveling to Brazil is a very unique experience because of many reasons. It might not be ideal during the COVID but it will still be remarkable.
Beaches are now open as well. Copacabana, one of Brazil’s most famous beaches, located in Rio de Janeiro is open. Shopping malls and restaurants are open in both Rio and Brasilia.
For instance, Brasilia, the capital, has an ICU occupancy of 80%, whereas Rio de Janeiro’s is only at 30% (figures quoted for August).
Florianopolis beaches are also reopened and the island is ready to receive tourists. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Brazil!
Many of Brazil’s 27 states have reopened shops and restaurants, but the response rate is different, depending on the strain to each state’s health systems.
Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) in Rio de Janeiro is an iconic attraction in Rio de Janeiro that is now open to foreign tourists.
In light of attractions opened and the differing rates of reopening for different states, tourists may have better luck seeing more in Rio de Janeiro. Rio is home to many of Brazil’s most iconic attractions, and it has reopened to a greater extent than many of the other states.
In pandemic times, being able to go to shopping malls, frequent beaches, and explore restaurants in Rio may just be the best option available.