Brazil bans entry of non-resident foreigners amid COVID-19 outbreak (update 25 May 2020)

25/05/2020 - 8:30 | Author: Proinde

Update 25 May 2020: Interministerial Ordinance nº 255 of 22 May 2020, extended for 30 days, with immediate effect, the ban on the entry of non-resident foreign nationals in Brazil. Interministerial Ordinance 203/2020 was revoked. Therefore, it is still not possible to change or repatriate crew in Brazil, except for medical evacuation. 

Update 29 April 2020: Interministerial Ordinance nº 203, of 28 April 2020, extended for 30 days the ban on the entry of non-resident foreign nationals in Brazil. Interministerial Ordinance 152/2020 was revoked. 

Published 27 March 2020:

Since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) arrived in Brazil over a month ago, the government has increasingly imposed restrictions on travel by closing land borders and banning international sea cruises, crew changes and entry of foreign citizens coming from certain countries. Now, following suit with some of its South American neighbours, Brazil has temporarily suspended the entry of non-resident foreign nationals arriving by air, to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the country.

Interministerial Ordinance n° 152, issued on 27 March 2020, provides for the 30-day travel ban to commence on 30 March 2020 and applies to individuals of all nationalities, except those falling into one of the following categories:

  • Brazilian citizens and residents
  • Foreign professionals employed by a non-governmental aid organisation recognised by the Brazilian government
  • Foreign officials accredited by the Brazilian government
  • Spouse, partner or immediate family member of a Brazilian citizen
  • Foreign nationals whose entrance into Brazil is deemed by the government to be in the public interest
  • Bearers of the National Migration Registry (RMN)
  • Foreign travellers in transit (providing they do not leave the transit area and the country of destination admits their entry)
  • Flight crews

The travel ban does not apply to air cargo transport or technical landings for refuelling when there is no need to disembark foreign passengers.

A foreigner who is in one of the land border countries and needs to cross the border to Brazil to catch a flight back home may exceptionally be authorised by the Federal Police (immigration authority) to enter the country as long as directly to the airport to board the flight.

There is no bar for passengers to depart on commercial flights from Brazil; however, given the restriction on the entry of foreigners in many countries, the availability of international flights will probably decline substantially.

Crew changes and shore leaves remain suspended at all Brazilian ports, except for medical emergencies.

Read more about the measures being taken by the Brazilian authorities to deal with the ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus at national ports and airports.

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