Authorities have extended the closure of Brazil's land and maritime borders until at least December 12, except for the border with Paraguay, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The restrictions apply to all non-resident foreign nationals. However, exceptions are in place for Brazilian citizens, permanent residents, foreign residents working for international organizations, foreign government representatives, and those traveling for trade, or humanitarian purposes. Close family members of Brazilian citizens and residents are also permitted to enter the country.
Authorities reopened the Friendship Bridge linking Foz do Iguazu with Ciudad del Este, Paraguay on October 15 following its closure in March. The measure allows for foreign nationals to enter into Brazil via the route, provided they have appropriate documentation for their entry into the country.
The mandatory wearing of face masks remains in place in public areas and on public transport across the country, while the use of face masks remains mandatory in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília in essential commercial establishments, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as on public transport.
As of Friday, November 13, there have been 5,781,582 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brazil with 164,281 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.