Brazil reopens to foreign visitors despite record numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths

Foreigners can enter the country for stays of up to 90 days.


Brazil on Wednesday reopened international air travel to foreign tourists, which had been banned since March, despiteΒ the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country.


In an attempt to revive its lockdown-devastated tourism industry, the Brazilain government is allowing visitors from any country to visit, as long as they have health insurance.


Brazil, the worst hit country by Covid-19 after the United States, reportedΒ 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths on Wednesday.


“Brazil is experiencing the worst phase of the pandemic,” said Dr Alexandre Naime, head of the department of infectious diseases at Sao Paulo State University.


“Paradoxically, public policy and personal behaviour are going in the opposite direction, as if we are not living through a daily tragedy.”


President Jair Bolsonaro, who has fought against restrictions on economic activity during the pandemic, refused to give any reasoning behind the decision to reopen the country to foreign visitors.


The National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC) estimates that the Brazilian tourism industry has so far lost 122 billion reals ($23.6 billion) due to the pandemic.


The ban on foreign travellers arriving by land or sea is still in place.