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This Brazilian Archipelago Is Only Opening to Tourists Who Have Had COVID-19

by Eben Diskin Sep 4, 2020

Like many other destinations around the world, these Brazilian islands are eager to open to tourists. However, they’re taking a slightly different approach than other tourist hotspots. Rather than requiring a negative COVID-test, the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is only allowing tourists who have already had COVID-19 and recovered.

The island off the northeastern coast of Brazil is famous for its marine life, beaches, and mountains along the coast. It has only 3,100 permanent residents, and the government is doing its best to keep those residents safe while also salvaging tourism.

André Longo, the health secretary of the state of Pernambuco, said in a statement, “There hasn’t been community transmission on the island for a long time. We have to keep it that way. Obviously, this step is going to be done with an eye on safety and reactivating economic activity on the archipelago.”

To prove that they’ve recovered from COVID-19, travelers must submit the results of one of two tests — a positive RT-PCR test performed more than 20 days prior to arrival, or a positive serological test that shows the presence of antibodies, taken within 72 hours of departure.

Regarding COVID-19 immunity, the CDC is still being very cautious, warning the population that “We do not know yet if people who recover from COVID-19 can get infected again. Scientists are working to understand this.”

The new policy took effect on September 1.

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