The PCR test isn’t just for tourists either.
All arrivals, both foreigners and citizens, will be obliged to show proof of a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 72 hours before departure of the inbound flight. Any foreigner/tourist who does not present proof of the negative test before the flight may not be permitted to board.
In addition to the new PCR testing requirement, the Health Ministry has added a Traveller's Health Declaration form (known as a DSV) that all passengers must complete either digitally or in print form.
The form will ask the traveler health questions and have them to sign their compliance to all health measures while visiting the country.
Brazil has been dealing with a second-wave surge in cases that has brought case totals back up to the record levels seen in late July of this year. While no public statement has yet been made by the government on why they are choosing to now implement the PCR requirement, it seems it’s a way to better control the most recent surge, which currently has Brazil’s Covid-19 intensive care bed occupancy rates exceeding 80%.
Publication of the modified entry requirements are detailed by Ordinance No 630 of December 17, 2020, in cooperation with the chief ministers of the presidency, the justice and public security, and the health ministry, which comes into effect December 30, 2020.
While the addition of the PCR test comes as a surprise, no changes have yet been made within Brazil that might affect travelers.
Currently, Brazil has no mandated curfews, inter-regional travel is still permitted, retailers and restaurants are open, and hotels are accepting guests. Some cities and regions have varying rules and regulations, but in large the country has relaxed many of their mandated restrictions. However, with tightening rules at the border, regional measures might be next.
The U.S. Embassy in Brazil posted that while Brazil still remains a Level 4 – Do Not Travel due to Covid-19, “Grocery stores are currently well-stocked and services are expected to continue to increase. U.S.-Brazil commercial flight routes continue to run and frequency of flights has recently increased.”
Restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and even gyms may be open, but Brazil has already had to cancel some of their biggest tourism draws. Rio's Carnival in Brazil was officially canceled for the first time in more than 100 years which will result in the loss of 2 million tourists to Brazil.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories