Health Alert – Expanded Face Mask Requirements and CDC symptoms




Expanded Face Mask Requirements and CDC symptoms

The following are new face mask requirements issued by Brazilian authorities.  This list is not exhaustive and is subject to change.  Please note that all U.S. Embassy and Consulate General Staff, as well as visitors, are required to wear face masks while on Mission grounds effective April 29.

  • The cities of Belo Horizonte (effective April 22, 2020), Rio de Janeiro (effective April 23, 2020), and Salvador (effective April 24, 2020), require facial coverings/masks.
  • The Federal District will require the use of face masks starting April 30 in public spaces, public roads, public transportation, and commercial establishments.  This order will last throughout the social distancing period and will carry penalties under federal law. The decree requires establishments to prevent the entry of non-compliant individuals.
  • Pernambuco State government decreed the use of face masks for essential workers in commercial establishments beginning April 27 and recommends the use of face masks for the general population.
  • In Rio Grande do Sul, face masks are mandatory in eight cities (not including Porto Alegre).  Porto Alegre does require the use of face masks on public transport, however.
  • Santa Catarina made the use of face masks mandatory in all public and private establishments on April 20.
  • Sao Paulo State issued an order April 23 recommending residents across the state use cloth masks in public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The CDC has expanded its list of COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) to include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.  CDC guidance is to consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Actions to Take:

  • Dial 192 for emergency services in Brazil if you have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
  • Review the latest CDC guidance regarding the use of facial coverings.
  • If in Brazil, check with your local municipality on their mask policy. See Brazilian state contact information here.
  • Review CDC information on COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and Messages from the U.S. Embassy.