In a move that will certainly encourage more travelers to visit the country, Brazil is seemingly moving away from its strict entry protocols and relaxing travel rules. As part of the new guidelines that have been announced late last week, vaccinated foreigners no longer need to submit a negative PCR within 72 hours of boarding their flight.
Previously, all international arrivals were subject to pre-departure testing, including Brazilian nationals and those habitually residing in the country, irrespective of vaccination or recovery status. Now, Brazil joins an expanding list of countries in the Americas that are opening up to vaccinated travelers restriction-free once more.
Negative Tests, Health Declaration Form No Longer Needed
Following a joint ordinance issued by four of its ministries, including the Ministry of Health, the Brazilian government waived on April 1 the pre-departure testing requirement for both vaccinated Brazilians and foreigners arriving in the country. Additionally, as reported by the Brazilian Office of the Chief of Staff, the health declaration form (DSV) was also removed.
This means that, since April 1, tourists are only required to present a valid vaccination certificate in order to bypass testing. The decision was published on Brazil’s Official Journey with immediate effect, bringing South America’s largest nation in line with the more relaxed Covid approach of its neighbours, such as Colombia and Ecuador.
The list of approved vaccines in Brazil is extensive, with all the main ones in widespread use across the United States being accepted as proof of immunization, including Cominarty (Pfizer), Janssen, Oxford/Covishield and others. For now, Brazilian authorities have not added an expiry date to two-dose vaccine certificates, meaning two doses (one for Janssen) is enough.
Brazil accepts all types of digital and physical Covid certificates, including paper CDC cards. While some countries have been receptive of CDC-issued physical vaccine cards, others have required digital proof of vaccination with a readable QR Code. Luckily for those in possession of a CDC card, Brazil makes no distinction between digital or physical certificates.
Prior to this ordinance, Brazil expected visitors to present a PCR test within 72 hours of traveling, irrespective of having been vaccinated, which made it a much less appealing destination to those who have received their shots, but are warier of restrictions. Now, they can again visit Brazil freely with few Covid curbs in place.
Once inside the country, Covid measures may vary across different states, including mandatory mask usage and the presentation of Covid passes for entry into certain venues. In general, Brazil as a whole has been relaxing measures, with popular states like Rio de Janeiro and Bahia again ready to welcome tourists with very few restrictions.
Can The Unvaccinated Also Bypass Testing?
As for the unvaccinated, they have been unauthorized to visit Brazil throughout most of the pandemic, making it one of the most strict destinations in Latin America when compared to the restriction-free oasis of Mexico. According to the most recent ordinance, they may still face challenges when traveling to Brazil.
When reviewing the ordinance, we perceived that only vaccinated tourists continue to be granted entry to the country right now, while those who are not immunized can be denied boarding due to not having a vaccine certificate. There are, however, exceptions to that rule, which do not yet include travel for tourism purposes.
Those eligible to enter without a completed vaccination scheme include those with a medical condition that contraindicates vaccination, foreigners arriving from countries with a low vaccination coverage who have not yet been able to get immunized (the list does not include the United States or Canada), as well as Brazilian citizens and residents.
As reported by G1, the country’s leading news website, the unvaccinated must now present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test within one day of traveling. On the other hand, they are no longer subject to mandatory quarantine, being allowed to move freely in the country soon after landing so long as they present a negative test at the border.
Brazil Is Officially Open For Vaccinated Tourists
Recently, Brazil has started moving away once again from its harsher Covid protocols, which were mostly imposed in 2021, by allowing cruise ships to dock again and even launching a new Digital Nomad Visa, which allows digital entrepreneurs and remote workers to remain in the country legally for up to two years.
With a vast history and a diverse culture, which includes a mixed European and African heritage, Brazil is an ideal sunny destination for American travelers, especially now that it is officially open again for the vaccinated. When traveling abroad, U.S. citizens are advised by the CDC to follow official guidance and get vaccinated in order to minimize Covid health risks.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com