There is no way to avoid the effects of the coronavirus and Rio de Janeiro is no exception. This year the city came to a stop, but the last couple of months Rio is starting to recover. After a high peak, the numbers of corona infections have been going down steadily and Rio is out of the danger zone now. The numbers for Brazil as a country are still high, and a second wave has started. Though lots of restrictions are lifted, the New Year’s Eve festivities in Rio de Janeiro are all cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. So lets get you updated on that, and everything else.
(Last update: 21st of December)
What is the current situation of the coronavirus in Rio de Janeiro?
Coronavirus in Rio de Janeiro was the biggest outbreak in Brazil after São Paulo, which makes sense, since it is the second biggest travel hub of the country and just had thousands of tourists celebrating carnival. But as said before, the numbers are way down. Emergency hospitals are closed and shops, beaches and attractions are open for visitors again.
The total number of infected people in Brazil you can find here. However, it is more relevant to look at the total number of infected people in Rio, since most of the infected people in Brazil are located in São Paulo and Rio. How the cases are spread over Rio you can see here on this map of the city government. You are allowed to go around the city freely, but it is obligatory to use a face mask. Without this you will not be allowed to enter shops, and you can get a fine.
Foreigners are allowed again to enter in Brazil. You will need to provide a copy of a valid health insurance. And from December 30 you will need a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours to enter.
New Year’s Eve in Rio is Cancelled!
The effect of Covid-19 is still very much present and it forced the government in Rio de Janeiro to cancel all festivities around New Year’s Eve in the city. As one of the most famous NYE celebrations in the world, the city normally attracts millions of visitors during these days. But this year it will be a quiet celebration, without any official program.
What about the Christ Statue and the Sugarloaf Mountain?
The main tourist attractions, including the Christ Statue and the Sugarloaf Mountain are open. The amount of people that will be able to enter is less, to make sure that people maintain a distance of at least one meter. Other places like the Tijuca Forest and the parks Jardim Botânico and Parque Lage, are all open. But there is also still some closed attractions, so before visiting it is always advised to check in advance.
Note: It is important to know that Brazil is a huge country and the situation and government actions are different per state and city. The information about the situation and government measurements we describe here are related only to Rio de Janeiro.
Can I still go?
Yes, you can. As mentioned before, foreigners are allowed to enter Brazil again, so with the right documents, you are able to visit Rio de Janeiro again.
Can I still leave?
Yes, you can. There are still (some) flights leaving Rio. We don’t have an exact update on which flights and airlines are still operating. However, more and more messages reach us that flights are fully booked, getting cancelled or getting really expensive. We advise you not to wait if you want to leave. Check the current status and possibilities to leave with your airline if you want to leave earlier. More information about restrictions regarding entry and exit of countries you can find on the IATA website.
Hospitals, doctors and healthcare in Rio de Janeiro
The general level of healthcare in Rio is good, but the system is vulnerable. When you have a (travel) insurance we advise you to go to a private clinic. More information you can find on our page about hospitals and pharmacies. Like in other countries, we should prevent a situation where there are too many infected people and there is no sufficient healthcare (doctors, IC beds etc.). That is why the government is taking these measures.
The guidelines on when to see a doctor or go to a hospital are pretty much the same as in other countries. When you have a cough, fever and problems with breathing you should immediately see a doctor and wear a mask to prevent transmitting a possible virus to others. When you just have light symptoms (a simple cough for example) don’t go to a doctor or hospital, because they will send you away. In any case try to obey the rules and advises of the government described above and the following guidelines for your own safety and that of others:
- wash your hands frequently with soap or alcohol
- don’t shake hands and avoid intimate personal contact
- don’t cough or sneeze in your hand
- Try to avoid touching your face when you not just cleaned your hands
- avoid agglomerations of people (and we also advise avoiding using public transport)
- keep distance from people with a cold or symptoms of the flue
Stay safe, and come (back) when the crisis is over
Last, but not least, we would like to say: stay safe and come (back) to Rio when this crisis is over! Rio is getting back on track, so if you would like to come here, it is a possibility. There are many great things to discover in this Marvelous City, even now. But it in case of doubt, it is probably better to wait a bit before planning your vacation.
If you have any questions about the situation, just leave a reply, and we try to answer it.