Brazil Lifts Ban On Unvaccinated Americans
Brazil just took a huge step in reinstating pre-Covid normality after spending months in the company of some of the world’s most restrictive countries. More specifically, it finally lifted its ban on unvaccinated visitors, including Americans, allowing in all foreigners once again with some restrictions.
During the early days of the pandemic, Brazil maintained an open border policy, much like Mexico and the Caribbean nations, although it still required tests of visitors. However, things changed drastically when vaccines became widely available, and the country, where vaccine uptake is incredibly high, shut its doors to those choosing not to get the shot.
Luckily, as of this week, the unvaxxed can start exploring Brazil again by fulfilling one simple requirement:
Unvaxxed Americans Are Welcome Again On One Simple Condition
A new decree published on September 12 changed guidelines for Americans traveling to Brazil. While the process has always been pretty straightforward, with no post-arrival testing or strict quarantine rules applying, South America’s number one nation did start turning away unvaxxed travelers in late 2021 at the peak of the Omicron wave.
Essentially, the group was no longer authorized to board flights to the country, as they once had been, by using a negative Covid test as proof of entry. This outright ban lasted a whole nine months, dating back to December 10 of last year and shunning more than 73 million Americans who have opted for not getting immunized.
Heading into the fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the early days of Brazil’s long, hot summer months, the strict vaccine rule, which placed the country side by side with the Netherlands, Canada and the like, has been done away with. Brazilians authorities have loosened their border curbs and now expect tourists to produce only one of the following documents:
- Proof of vaccination; or
- A negative Covid test undertaken one day prior to boarding.
How Many Doses Are Required To Fit The Vaccination Criteria?
Two doses are enough, or one in Janssen’s case.
Brazil considers Americans to be fully vaccinated when they have fulfilled the initial immunization scheme of any Anvisa-approved vaccines, other brands that have been certified by the World Health Organization, or even by equivalent health organs in specific countries. Anvisa is the equivalent to the States’ own Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
In sum, Brazil accepts all popular vaccination certificates issued worldwide, most notably Pfizer’s, Moderna’s, Janssen’s, Sinovac’s and others. The decree states that, in order to be deemed valid, vaccination proof must contain the recipient’s name, the vaccine brand or information about its manufacturer, as well as the number of doses given and their precise dates.
Both printed and electronic certificates are accepted, but it is worth noting Brazilian border officers will not accept QR-code only certificates without any specifications. If you qualify as a vaccinated traveler and plans on using a digital certificate as proof of entry, make sure it includes all of the relevant information described in the paragraph above.
What Covid Tests Are Accepted As Proof Of Entry?
On the other hand, if a traveler cannot present proof of vaccination, they will no longer be refused boarding, but must present a negative Covid test result, issued by a laboratory, taken at most one day prior to the departure time. The unvaccinated can choose between the more-detailed PCR, or the Rapid Antigen tests.
Other than that, all of the following is true:
- Travelers are not required to complete an entry form
- There is post-arrival testing for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated
- No quarantine applies to travelers arriving from abroad
- There are no restrictions on inter-state travel within Brazil
- The mandatory use of face masks in planes, public transport, airports and other public settings has been lifted*
*Different Brazilian states, cities and municipalities have their own jurisdiction which may, or may not, countermand the Federal mandate. If you’re unsure whether masks are still required in a particular state or at your final destination, we advised you obtain confirmation from local authorities.
Brazil Is Yet To Fully Reopen Like Argentina, But It’s Getting Seriously Close To It
This isn’t yet a full reopening in the mold of neighboring Argentina or the fellow Portuguese-speaking Portugal, but it serves as evidence Brazil is indeed pursuing a path of wider reopening, unlike other American nations that not only continue banning unvaccinated Americans, but are going as far as tightening rules further.
Besides lifting the controversial ban, the tropical gem has said yes to cruise ships and proved it is on top of the latest travel trends, being the proud home of South America’s first-ever digital nomad village. Of course, we want to see Brazil resume tourism as usual with zero requirements for all, but until that day comes, we will savor every smaller win.