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Brazil To Require Travelers Provide Proof of Vaccination for Entry


The supreme court of Brazil has just ruled that inbound international travelers will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter the country—a decision that directly contradicts the express wishes of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

The president himself remains unvaccinated (though he contracted COVID-19 last year and recovered) and has previously prevented Anvisa—the nation’s regulatory health agency—from requiring that visitors provide proof of vaccination ahead of the world-famous Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, which will run from February 25 – March 5, 2022.

Bolsonaro has railed against vaccine mandates, calling them a threat to individual liberties, as part of broader disinformation campaigns that downplay the severity of the virus. This, despite the fact that Brazil has been one of the countries hardest hit by the virus with one of the highest death tolls, second only to the United States’.

The decision, handed down on Saturday by Justice Luís Roberto Barroso, invalidates a November 30 mandate issued by the federal government, which only required a negative PCR test result for foreigners to enter the country, which unvaccinated arrivals ordered to quarantine for five days. A challenge to this rule was quickly filed with the nation’s high court by the Sustainability Network party, the Washington Post reported.

Barroso argued that the federal government’s policy proposal posed the “threat of promoting anti-vaccine tourism” to Brazil. Importing fresh infection isn’t really something the South American country can risk, as it has only been in recent months that case counts and deaths have declined. Reuters reports that around 85 percent of Brazilian adults are now fully vaccinated, and this past week’s average deaths per day had fallen to about 200 from a peak of 3,000 back in April.

The judge did allow some exceptions for inbound foreign travelers with waivers for health problems and those coming from countries without widespread access to vaccines. Unvaccinated foreigners entering Brazil will instead need to quarantine for five days while checking in routinely with a health agency, and take another test at the end of the five-day period, Euronews reported.

Inbound international travelers will still be required to submit a negative PCR test result and complete Anvisa’s health declaration form before being allowed to board their Brazil-bound flights.

It wasn’t made immediately clear when the policy changes would be implemented, and Barroso’s ruling still needs to be approved by the supreme court’s ten other judges next week.

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