Unlocking the World

Traveling to Brazil during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 8th September 2022
Copacabana beach makes Rio one of the world's most captivating cities.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you're fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on September 8.
(CNN) — If you're planning a trip to Brazil, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

Brazil has been one of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic. The country holds the second highest Covid-19 death toll in the world, second only to the United States.
At the height of the pandemic, the Brazilian government did little to limit the spread nationally. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro criticized the use of masks and lambasted governors who adopted regional lockdown measures.
Hospitals in Brazil struggled. Intubation, medication and oxygen ran low at points during the pandemic.
The Gamma coronavirus variant was first detected in Brazil and spread rapidly across the country in early 2021.
Cases in Brazil later spiked in late 2021/early 2022 following the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Case numbers have since dropped.
Over 80.8% of the population in Brazil is fully vaccinated as of September 8, 2022.

What's on offer

Brazil is a bucket list destination -- a country that really does have everything. Beachside Rio de Janeiro is one of the world's most beautiful cities, capital Brasilia is a whirl of modernist architecture, and Salvador is the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture. There are some of the best beaches on the planet, plus, of course, the main part of the Amazon rainforest -- which visitors can help protect, by contributing toward the conservation economy.

Who can go

Brazil's government, infamously relaxed about the pandemic, was initially hesitant to implement pandemic border restrictions. However, the country introduced new border measures following the emergence of Omicron.
Currently, only fully vaccinated travelers can enter Brazil for a vacation, with few exceptions.

Entry requirements

Current rules dictate that travelers arriving in Brazil by air for tourist purposes must be fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated travelers arriving to Brazil by air can only enter under exempted reasons listed here. These exempted unvaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR or antigen test administered a maximum of 24 hours previously.
Travelers can enter Brazil via sea if they have proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated, exempted visitors must show a negative PCR or antigen test taken a maximum of 24 hours previously.
Travelers entering Brazil by land must also show proof of vaccination. Again, there are some exemptions for unvaccinated travelers, but exempted unvaccinated travelers arriving by land do not need to show a negative test.
Children under 12 can enter Brazil without showing proof of vaccination. See more detail on Brazil's Covid entry requirements for children here.

US CDC travel advisory:

Level 3: High. The CDC advises to make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to Brazil. If you are not up to date with Covid vaccines, the CDC advises you to avoid travel to Brazil.

Useful links

Our recent coverage

The Brazilian town of Encantado has a towering new statue of Jesus Christ that's taller than Rio de Janeiro's famous "Christ the Redeemer" statue. Read more here.
Check out this list of places in Brazil you might not have heard of, meanwhile see photos of the otherworldly landscapes of Brazil's Lençóis Maranhenses National Park at this link.
Also, see photos of other beautiful places in Brazil here, or read the story of Brazil's national spirit, cachaça.