Message to U.S. Citizens: Update to the Brazil Travel Advisory

U.S. Embassy Brasilia 

August 6, 2020 

On August 6 the Department of State updated the Travel Advisory for Brazil.   

Please see the Travel Advisory below: 

Do not travel to Brazil due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Brazil due to crime. Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.  

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.     

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Brazil due to COVID-19.   

Travelers to Brazil may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Brazil due to COVID-19. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Brazil. 

Do not travel to: 

  • Any areas within 150 km/100 miles of Brazil’s land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay due to crime. (Note:  This does not apply to the Foz do Iguacu National Park or Pantanal National Park.) 
  • Informal housing developments (commonly referred to in Brazil as favelas, vilas, comunidades, and/or conglomerados) at any time of day due to crime (see additional information below). 
  • Brasilia’s administrative regions (commonly known as “satellite cities”) of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa during non-daylight hours due to crime (see additional information below). 

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, and carjacking, is common in urban areas, day and night.  Gang activity and organized crime is widespread.  Assaults are common.  U.S. government personnel are discouraged from using public, municipal buses in all parts of Brazil due to an elevated risk of robbery and assault at any time of day, and especially at night. 

Read the country information page. 

If you decide to travel to Brazil: 

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.  
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.    
  • Be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. 
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night. 
  • Avoid walking on beaches after dark. 
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry. 
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs. 
  • Use caution at, or going to, major transportation centers or on public transportation, especially at night.  Passengers face an elevated risk of robbery or assault using public, municipal bus transportation throughout Brazil.  
  • Use increased caution when hiking in isolated areas. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Brazil. 
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. 

International Borders – Do Not Travel 

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to areas within 150 km/100 miles of the international land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay without advance approval from security officials due to crime.  Travel to the Foz do Iguacu National Park and Pantanal National Park is permitted. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas 

Informal Housing Developments (commonly known as “Favelas”) – Do Not Travel 

Do not travel to informal housing developments (commonly referred to in Brazil as favelas, vilascomunidades, and/or conglomerados), even on a guided tour.  Neither the tour companies nor the police can guarantee your safety when entering these communities.  Even in these communities that the police or local governments deem safe, the situation can change quickly and without notice.  While some informal housing developments have clear boundaries or gates, or even names such as “favela”, “vila”, “comunidade”, or “conglomerado”, other such developments may be less obvious, and may be identified by crowded quarters, poorer conditions, and/or irregular construction.  In addition, exercise caution in areas surrounding these communities, as occasionally, inter-gang fighting and confrontations with police move beyond the confines of these communities.  Except under limited circumstances and with advance approval, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to enter any informal housing developments in Brazil.  Read the Safety and Security Section on the country information page for further information regarding favelas. 

Visit our website for Travel High-Risk Areas. 

Brasilia’s Administrative Regions (commonly known as “Satellite Cities”) – Do Not Travel 

Without advance approval from security officials, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to Brasilia’s Administrative Regions of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (non-daylight hours) due to crime. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information. 

While Brazil has opened its border to visitors traveling by airU.S. citizens considering international travel should be aware that Brazil remains at a Level 4 Travel Advisory (Do Not Travel) and continues to experience high daily case numbers of COVID-19.  For U.S. citizens who decide to disregard the current Brazil travel advisory, please note you must present to the airline company, prior to boarding, proof of purchase of health insurance valid in Brazil with coverage for the entire period of the trip.  Failure to provide this could result in the denial of entry by Brazilian authorities.  There is no longer a requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter Brazil nor is there a required quarantine period upon arrival.  The Brazilian government recommends those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to self-quarantine for 15 days Please note that, due to the COVID-19 situation in Brazil, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in Brazil continue to offer only emergency services for U.S. citizens in Brazil.  Routine services not related to safety will not be scheduled at this time.   

Entry into the United States remains suspended, per Presidential Proclamation, for foreign nationals of all nationalities, including Brazilians, who were present in Brazil within 14 days prior to their arrival at the port of entry.  The travel restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders), most immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and specific categories of individual visa holders who are identified in the Proclamation.  Travelers to the United States from Brazil may encounter unexpected delays during the check in and boarding process and are advised to arrive at the airport earlier than normally recommended.  For U.S. citizens that return to the United States from Brazil, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend a 14 day quarantine upon arrival. 

As flights are subject to change, please contact airlines directly for the most current schedule information.  The U.S. Mission in Brazil continues to encourage U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States to make commercial flight arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  The U.S. government does not currently anticipate arranging repatriation flights from Brazil as many commercial flights are available.