Rio De Janeiro Aerial

New year, new rules. Brazil has been one of the few countries around the world to remain mostly open without major restrictions throughout the pandemic, but as of December 30th, there’s been a slight change to the details, making entry into the boundlessly gorgeous country just a bit more of a process.

Mainly, you’ll need a negative covid-19 test taken with 72 hours of departure, and you’ll also need to fill out a health form. Plus, flights from some countries have temporarily been suspended. Don’t worry, we’ve got all the deets.

Brazil Changes Entry Requirements

As of December 30th, 2020, and yes that means applying to travel in 2021, you’ll need a negative covid-19 PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure to visit or transit through Brazil. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed to board your flight to Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, or any other Brazilian gateway.

Flights between the UK to Brazil are also suspended.

Children under 2 are not required to take a covid-19 test to enter Brazil, and children under 12 accompanied by an adult also don’t require a negative covid-19 PCR test, but any accompanying adults absolutely do. As always, double confirm rules with Brazilian authorities and or airlines in advance of travel, since restrictions are likely to change.

Rio De Janeiro Ipanema

Unlike LAMP, and other relatively quick tests, a PCR test typically require 24-48 hours to return the test result, so booking a test ASAP that fits into the timeline of your travel is key. With a surge in testing demand, it’s good to get on the books well in advance of travel, rather than scramble to find a last minute slot.

a map of the world

If your flight was to depart at 12PM on Friday, you’d want to book a test at 12:01 PM or later n Tuesday, or Wednesday, to receive the results in due time, but still have it fresh within 72 hours as required. Thursday could work, but only if the test was guaranteed in under 24 hours, and was taken 24 hours before you plan to check in.

Brazil requires the negative covid-19 test result to be within 72 hours from your first point of embarkation, aka the first flight in your journey. So if you have a connection, base the test times around the time of check in for your first flight, which is where all docs will be confirmed.

Brazil’s Traveler Health Declaration

In addition to a negative covid-19 PCR test, all arrivals and transits in Brazil must also fill out a ‘Travelers Health Declaration’ and present it to authorities on arrival. Despite the changes to entry, there’s still no quarantine in effect, which means anyone willing to get a negative covid-19 test is mostly still able to enjoy this captivating country.

Many travelers are taking the first quarter of 2021 off, allowing time for health authorities to ramp up vaccinations and reduce the dreadful virus figures emerging daily, but thousands will continue to arrive in Brazil daily, anyway.

If positive news of beating back the virus does emerge in the near future, it’s largely expected that Brazil will be among the first to roll back these covid-19 related entry restrictions, and go back to a more open entry system, without a negative covid-19 test result required. Until then, it’s better to know than be denied boarding, right?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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      1. Do you know where or when we wil be able to see the review result. Trying to get to Brazil from uk next week

        Thank you

          1. Hi Gilbert,

            Thank you for the article and all the updates. I am due travel to Brazil at the end of January to join family there (direct flight to São Paulo) and anxiously following the latest updates on UK/Brazil restrictions.

            I will follow your link/tool posted previously for updates, yet if you know of any other resource I could follow in addition, for the latest updates and announcements on the UK/Brazil flight ban, that would be super.

            All best,


      2. Hi Derek, I really hope the Brazilian Government lifts the ban . Im English my wife is Brazilian and her mum is very poorly (nothing to do with covid). Is there meant to be an announcement today?? 10/01/21 . 🙏🏼

    1. If you’ve had it and recovered, you would test negative, so you can travel. If you are still actively infected, you’d test positive. I don’t believe Brazil is accepting antigen tests though, so you’d still need to prove you’re no longer infected with a PCR test. Hope that helps!

  1. I was traveling to sao Paulo on 29th transiting in Addis Ababa and I was denied boarding though I had the PCR test. The issue was that the results are French and Brazil authorities only accept PCR results in English or Spanish or portuguese only. So please if you’re from a French speaking country too check out that before. I was told even translation wouldn’t help unless I do another test in any of those 3 languages. They even showed me the circulating email Brazil authorities had sent that morning (29th December 2020) proving what they were saying. I guess I was first to experience that in that airport since I was the only one going to Brazil through Addis Abba Aba that 29th morning the new rule begun. I argued it doesn’t make sense to say French is not acceptable and even immigration officers and Ethiopian airline officials understood my point but there’s nothing they could do since they were working on rules and more importantly fresh rule starting that morning.

    Had to get to a nearby English speaking country and do another test and leave and it was a success.

    I hope that rule of English or Spanish or portuguese only changes to favour the francophone countries as well. We all hope this covid Era ends as well to avoid all these.

    So please those from Francophone counties should note that or contact Brazilian embassy in your country before.

    Wish all the best in Brazil.

  2. Do you know if the rules have changed on foreigners being banned from entering If been in the uk the last 14 days? I am aware Brazilian nationals would need to quarantine on arrival. If for instance I presented a negative test and also traveled via another country as uk flights still banned? Thanks!

    1. It’s an interesting one. Official advice says nothing about declaring origin etc, and I don’t see any forms which would block you etc. It’s possible you’d get more scrutiny with the passport, but very little official guidance, so I’d think you’d be able to transit via third country, whether you should or not. I’ll ping some Brazilian contacts.

  3. could you please give me some advice Gilbert,
    I arrived in Săo Paulo on the 9.12. 2020 and my scheduled flight back to Manchester via Amsterdam on the 19. 01. 2021 is already cancelled. Should I extend my stay and use my flexible flight option and change my flight for £20 further in to February to wait for relaxation of the covid situation in the UK and Brazil? I worry I will be stranded in European Flight restrictions on my way back.
    It’s anyway nearly impossible to fulfil the new restrictions to enter Brazil again. My GF lives here and I couldn’t afford the flight’s if I don’t use pre booked flight options and book in advance. It is all so confusing.

    J. A. Mitchell

  4. I am confused about getting back from Brazil to UK. Must I have a 72 hours negative PCR before getting boarding or can I do ince I arrived there?

  5. Hello can come someone help, I came home to the u.k for Christmas from Brazil. (Biggest regret) my return flight is on th 16th to Frankfurt and then to São Paulo. I already have a ticket to fly to Miami from Rio on the 29th where I plan to start my new job, what can I do to get on the flight, my friend in Brazil even said he would employ me for work if it would help. Do you think I have much to worry about if I do the two tests and tell them I’m heading to America for work or have one sorted in Brazil.

    Cheers I

    1. I did the exact same thing! Kicking myself for coming back. The consulado advised me that if you have been in the uk for the past 14 days, you are barred from entering Brazil. Meaning you must spend 14 days somewhere else first (Unless you are brazilian). Absolute nightmare

  6. Hi Gilbert and Community. We are a group of 6 travelling, all uk residents with 2 UK citizens and 4 dual nationals (EU & Brazilian) with flights booked with BA to Rio for a family engagement in early February. All BA flights since Xmas have been cancelled and i don’t expect them to return until the ban is lifted, but we could try to be re-routed via Madrid. Assuming we will all have tests done are there any restrictions to the UK citizens either transiting in Madrid or entering Brazil.
    Any help is appreciated this rules are always changing and confusing everyone.

  7. Jaime.
    At the moment, SPAIN does not allow NON-Spanish citizens and residents to even BOARD flights from the UK to Spain. I work in a travel agency and have several passengers (Brazilians) that currenly are in London with no option to return to Brazil without having to buy new tickets. The alternative for them is to fly with TAP through Portugal, as even Germany and Amsterdam have blocked the possibilities for UK citizens to transit through Amsterdam. Paris is still an option, and from what I have understood, Italy (with Alitalia) is also an option. But dont take your chances with being rerouted through Spain at the moment.

    1. Thanks Tommy really appreciate your advice.
      Since my post BA have now cancelled the flight so we are deciding on the next step in the next few days. My gut feeling is to postpone it at least until March.
      Have a great weekend

  8. Josh G
    You have a problem. A big problem. The US currently dont allow passengers that have been in Brazil for the last 14 days to enter the US, unless it is a US citizen. So the majority of the brazilians we have seen book tickets, have very creatively booked tickets from Brazil to Mexico, they stay 15 days in Mexico before they embark on the flight to the US. That way they omit the rule and are not excluded from entering the US.

  9. Hi guys! Me and my fiancee need to get to Brazil asap. We have done lots of research but conflicting information. We plan to fly from London to Mexico via Paris, then 14 days later fly to Rio from Mexico. The only confusion is do we need a negative PCR test to transit through Paris? On the Gov site it says all entrants need a negative test to get into France, but then on another it says you only need a PCR test if your *final destination* needs one. Mexico does not require this so am I to assume we don’t need a PCR to transit via Paris? Thanks a million!

  10. I am traveling next week to Rio from London via oPorto and it was too late when I started seeing all the troubles for uk residents. I have Spanish passport but uk resident and I want to know if someone has recently traveled to Brasil from the UK and if so, did you have any sort of problems?
    I’m aware of the negative pcr which I will do but I’m scared once in Oporto they will not let me board the flight if they check where I was coming originally.. what power does the airline have to decide this?

    Another option a friend told me is to show I’m going for humanitarian reasons… but what can I show as proof I’m traveling for this propose ?

    Thanks a lot !

  11. Does the test need to be taken within 72 hours from the flight or check-in? I took my test but it will be 74 hours from scheduled departure, though I’ll probably check in at the 71 hour mark.

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