US Introduces New Brazil Travel Ban

Filed Under: Travel

Over the past few months we’ve seen President Trump introduce several travel bans. First there was the China travel ban in early February, then there was the European Union travel ban in mid-March, and then that travel ban was extended to the UK and Ireland a few days later.

Now we can add another country to the travel ban list.

US introduces Brazil travel ban

Brazil has seen an explosion of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, and is now the country with the second most cases (after the United States).

The United States will ban non-Americans who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days from entering. This will take effect as of 11:59PM ET on Thursday, May 28, 2020, though anyone onboard a scheduled flight prior to that time will be allowed in. No end date has been given for this yet.

As the decision is described:

The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Federative Republic of Brazil threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security, and I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

Who is excluded from this travel ban?

This travel ban doesn’t apply to everyone. In addition to lawful permanent residents of the United States being excluded, the following people are as well (among others — see the proclamation for full details):

  • Spouses of US citizens or lawful permanent residents
  • Those who are the parent or legal guardian of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided the US citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21
  • Those who are the sibling of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided both are unmarried and under the age of 21
  • Those traveling at the invitation of the United States government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus
  • Those traveling as a crewmember, either as an air or sea crew

Bottom line

The US has just added a Brazil ban, so non-Americans who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days can no longer enter the US. This even includes transit passengers, though excludes select categories of passengers, as summarized above.

  1. Has there been any discussion about lifting the European travel ban, or limiting it to countries most affected?

  2. Surprised that it took so long, then again both countries have the same type of leadership so…
    As far as europe, the ban we should be watching for is their ban on travel from the US with it being the epicenter of the pandemic now, no country will want to open their borders to US travellers any time soon.

  3. This is silly. For the past six weeks or so there has only been one daily flight between the U.S. and Brazil even operating. United from IAH-GRU. Mostly it’s been 1/4 to a half full and is primarily moving expats of each country back home, and for cargo. At best you might be seeing a dozen Brazilians traveling to the U.S. each day and are primarily essential workers in medical, government, etc.

    I reside part time in S.P. and in the U.S. and I can assure you that no Brazilians are looking to travel to the U.S., or anywhere for that matter, in the near future. Despite (to spite) Bolsonaro they are hunkered down much as we were a month ago and most things are closed.

    Trump will use this though as an excuse to say that he defended us from the millions of infected Brazilians that were invading our shores and bringing the virus into our homes. Of course, when the press rightly point out that maybe a dozen Brazilians a day are coming here on the only flight operating, he will surely create some scenario of boats carrying thousands of sick people so as to dock all across our nation.

    More theater to cover up his missteps in allowing the original spread from Europe with hundreds of thousands of travelers coming here between January and March.

  4. More stupidity from the Trump Administration. Flights to/from US to Brazil should be banned immediately, not THURSDAY! The State Department can and should arrange a few raptriation flights and require 14 day quarantines in the US. The same slow and stupid response is what helped fuel outbreaks in the Northeast as flights to/from Europe were not stopped earlier.

  5. @ Stuart TAM has also been flying GRU to MIA, three times a week.

    “At best you might be seeing a dozen Brazilians traveling to the U.S. each day.” What do you consider the minimum required to reignite a local hot spot? 13?

    Trump is very pro-Bolsonaro. He has avoided stepping on any Brazilian toes, for months. Not that he or many Americans think much about Brazil, anyway. Remember GW Bush — “Oh, you have black people in Brazil, too?”

  6. @Ross. I think you will reignite a hot spot far quicker with what we have seen this weekend across the country at beaches etc than you will with the few dozen Brazilians, most of whom are essential workers for the Govt. etc, traveling here.

    In theory I am not opposed to the ban. I am mostly saying that it’s pretty much theater and is Trump trying to grasp at something to make himself look responsible after all of the missteps made before. And that he will greatly exaggerate any impact it has.

  7. If China had been more open (it still isn’t, in spite its ‘low official numbers’, this epidemic might have been slowed. Let’s not forget this; China should not be given a pass.

  8. Bans are pure theatre when you have a country with millions of people infected and untested (which would be the USA). Effective quarantines on international arrivals, however, make some sense. Yet we do the stupid thing…

  9. This is pointless if you let Americans come back from Brazil without tracking them for 14 days… just like the loose bans before this one

  10. Pretty ironic, bolsonaro is trump’s lap dog and must be really pissed that his owner screwed him over.

    We can only dream that putin will eventually do the same to his own lap dog, trump, but the scary reality is that putin is way more intelligent than trump.

  11. Yes let’s continue to blame Brazil, Europe, or China, and just ignore the fact that US has the most active cases in the world and a president that believes we should be proud of it. Interesting times for sure.

  12. This is clear evidence of Trump’s racism. And of course this is following his racist remarks last week when he said if you don’t vote for me “then you ain’t black”.

  13. @MKLDH the U.S. also tests more than anyone in the world. You wants tests easily available, then immediately use the results to politicize this pandemic and make the Trump admin look bad. Also, not sure how you can blame anyone but China in this???

  14. @Stuart… this time, I must say that I 100% agree with what you wrote. Well said. Specially the part re the Trump-Bolsonaro ” twins”.

  15. Hmmmm, why isn’t Trump doing the same to Russia, what could be different there, hmmm….

  16. I am an American and I have a medical problem and I need to get back. American has cancelled until July. I’m trying to get a United flight but they might cancel also.
    What then? Will the government repatriate citizens?
    Any ideas?

  17. @Henry. Maybe you should check Google flights before asking. Plenty of flights returning in June.

  18. @Henry M Gehman
    If you need to get back, I would strongly recommend you take a flight this week. I have an American friend in Brazil who was scheduled to fly on American last Thursday. I recommended he call the airline but he just assumed if his record locater still showed the flight he was ok. Needless to say he wasted his time going to the airport – American never contacted him. He is now flying out on United this Thursday just as the ban goes into place. It is extremely unlikely American will restart service any time soon given the ban.

  19. @Henry. United is your only real shot and you need to get it now before it’s done on Thursday. The other option is to position now to Santiago for the one LATAM flight that is going from there to Miami. It’s not cancelled as of yet. The only other long shot is to go via Europe (Lufthansa and others are still operating right now out of GRU). All of those are better than waiting for a repatriation which could be even more costly, create more waiting, and be far more uncomfortable.

    If you are in S.P. and you have medical issues for any reason (and can’t get out) the one hospital that is your go-to, no matter what, is the Hospital Albert Einstein. It’s world class and rivals most in the U.S. Good luck!

  20. Just a small rectification: the European Union (EU) and Schengen Area are not the same.
    The EU is an economic union with some political powers delegated by countries who ratified the Lisbon Treaty .
    The Schengen Area is abolishing most border controls between countries that ratified the Schengen Agreement.
    European continental politics is more complex than EU/not EU. The EU, European Economic Area, EU Customs Union, Eurozone, European Common Security and Defence Policy CSDP, Schengen Area, and Council of Europe all are different entities/treaties and have different memberships.
    For exemple, the Schengen Area includes Switzerland, Norway or Iceland that are NOT members of the EU.
    Some members of the EU are NOT parties of the Schengen Agreement: Ireland, Croatia, Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria,…

    The US proclamation banning entry only concerns Schengen members states and Ireland. There is absolutly NO EU-wide entry-ban, for example you can travel from Dubrovnik (Croatia), Bucharest (Romania) or Nicosia (Cyprus), while all being in the EU, to the US.

  21. What a load of horse**** ! Too little too late, and the so-called proclamation has more holes than a sieve!
    Oh, and while your fake president relaxed with a weekend of golf, your Covid-19 death toll passed 100,000 ( one-hundred-thousand).
    Well on the way to 200,000+ by Christmas.

  22. @anthony
    “If China had been more open (it still isn’t, in spite its ‘low official numbers’, this epidemic might have been slowed. ”

    This is simply ignorant. China is dealing with a totally new virus and it managed to control the spread by locking down an entire city. US knew what was going on in China as early as in January but did almost nothing. I don’t know how China could perform much better. In comparison with US, I’d say China has done extremely well.

    As regard to “low official numbers”, you do know that there are American journalists in almost every major Chinese city, right? If anything even close to New York happened, it would be all over the media. The truth is, however, extreme measures by the Chinese government actually worked. Outside Wuhan, the spread of the virus was controlled and therefore the hospitals in all other major cities in China were never flooded.

    The bottom line is, before starting to blaming China, or any other country, please apply the same standards to US or wherever you are from. If there is one country to blame, I would say it’s the US for lacking any actions even KNOWING the virus is spreading, and providing the hotbed for virus to mutate.

  23. Actually I think nowadays it’s in every country’s best interest to simply ban Americans… I mean which country has the most COVID-19 patients again?

  24. @JayBee – FWIW, Wuhan the city just finished 6.5 million tests in the past 9 days. In contrast, US has done 14 million tests in the past 4 months. I’m sure you find that worth bragging about. (Or maybe you will say anything from China is not believable, I dunno) The point I want to make is blaming other countries does little to nothing to help the situation, especially when America is currently in a mess. But this administration apparently relies on such tricks to make itself look less incompetent. As for travel bans, they never really work unless you are doing a blanket ban, like those in Australia and Schengen. Singling out the “hot spot” countries? That’s not how contagion works.

  25. “@MKLDH, Not sure where the 14m figure you crow about comes from!

    “In many of the counts the CDC did provide over the past several months, it missed the large majority of tests. In early May, the CDC reported that only about half a million tests had been conducted in the U.S. But the COVID Tracking Project had tallied the results of more than 7.5 million tests reported by states by then. In late April, the White House used the COVID Tracking Project’s data in a major report on national testing strategy. It cited the data again earlier this week in a press conference.

    The CDC should provide the country with a single, trustworthy data source on the state of COVID-19 testing. But the fact that its data are still in such disagreement with the state-reported totals means that the CDC’s latest efforts are not of much use to politicians and the public. For now, the agency that should be a respected source of truth in this crisis is only adding to the national confusion.”

    From The Atlantic publication.

  26. @ glenn t – I got that from CDC website, which shows a total of 14.1 million. I also checked the COVID Tracking Project you mentioned, which says 14.6 million. What a big difference huh?

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