US Bans Travel From Brazil

The U.S. has announced a ban on travel by foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days. This adds to bans already in place for the United Kingdom, Europe and China.

According to a statement from the White House,

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

We know that the existing travel bans were put into place too late to have significant effect limiting the spread of the virus to the U.S. It was already incubating here. Brazil has been a hot spot for some time, though its officially-reported confirmed COVID-19 cases have just reached second most in the world ahead of Russia. On a per capita basis Brazil’s confirmed spread of the virus is about one-third that of the U.S.

Russia has roughly the same number of confirmed cases as Brazil, and more per capita confirmed cases, but no ban has been issued for travelers that have been to Russia. On a per capita basis there are nearly as many cases in Qatar – the virus has seen accelerating spread in several Mideast countries in recent weeks.

Meanwhile with the virus in retreat across much of Europe it’s far less likely someone would bring it from there to the U.S. than vice versa, yet we haven’t seen a relaxing of travel restrictions entering the U.S. from Italy, France or Spain. We’ve also seen accelerating spread in India, Mexico, and Peru.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Anton – but it’s a separate travel ban, the UK was excluded from the initial ban – and the UK is also not part of the Schengen Area

  2. About time. Here in S Florida, we do not need the summer influx of travelers from a hot spot like Brazil who could carry the virus. I would prefer testing at flight origins and deny boarding to any positive tester rather than an outright ban on non-citizens – hence , including US residents who are allowed under the announced ban but could carry the disease, even unknowingly.

  3. Hopefully this Trump travel ban won’t end up being as bad a mess as what happened with the Trump travel ban for the Schengen area. But I’m not holding out much hope for it doing any good either, especially as the carriers were going to find operating to and from Brazil to be problematic even without this Trump travel ban aimed at Brazil.

  4. The US leads the world in covid-19 infections. What countries ban travel from the US or require that passengers from the US quarantine on arrival?

  5. I’m surprised it too this long.

    @Anton, most central Europeans would argue that the UK isn’t quite part of Europe the way they themselves are.

  6. @john I dont think any country singles out Americans for travel ban, but there are many that ban non citizens/residents eg Australia, NZ, Malaysia, Cambodia, HK, China.

  7. IMHO, the ban is symbolic only. U.S. citizens/residents will still carry the virus in , and in any event there are so many cases in the U.S. already. Trump.might as well just ban travellers from ALL counties and it wont make a difference in exceeding the 100k death toll.

  8. Umm, so people are aware, over the past two months there has been one flight. Yes, ONE flight, from Brazil to the U.S. United has been the sole standout in operating GRU-IAH. So this is hardly dramatic. I know from insiders that it’s typically half full and almost entirely American expats returning.

    Further, while some were looking towards mid to late June to begin again to the U.S. (primarily LATAM) it was still not known. Brazilians are not traveling to the U.S. or planning anything.

    I live between Brazil and the U.S. and can assure you that few beyond essential workers are traveling to the U.S. right now. Or planning anytime soon. And, despite Bolsonaro, most businesses are closed and responsible people are staying home. It’s not much different from here a month ago.

    Despite this, you can bet Trump will tout this as a great protection. That he saved millions. When in fact maybe a dozen Brazilians were coming to the U.S. each day, if lucky. He will though, I am sure, create some scenario that he prevented thousands of boats of Brazilians coming to invade us.

  9. @Charles Webb. There are currently no flights to Florida from Brazil. Have not been for weeks. Only Houston on United currently.

    Nor do any Brazilians have any wish to go to the U.S. or even travel at this time. Don’t worry, they are not coming.

    In the meantime your beaches are full and your own residents ignore basic principles. So, really, why would the citizens of a country that injects outrageous amounts of money into the Florida economy each year look to you as a safe destination? They don’t. Despite Bolsonaro they are staying home. Probably more than Floridians are.

  10. This silly one here is a China travel ban- it’s one of the few countries in the world without endemic Coronavirus currently…

    Many countries currently have a ban on all foreign visitors, or at least a mandatory 14 day quarantine. Just booking tickets to take my daughter to college in the fall- I was surprised that other than the above “banned” countries (not applicable to a US citizen, anyway) there are no inbound quarantine restrictions in the US at all.

  11. @ Charles Webb. Instead, your governor will be welcoming the many American visitors from the northeast U.S. who (according to Trump) are way safer than the undesirables from Brazil. But don’t worry, you can always drink your bleach.

  12. @cynnils, @stuart Please get your facts straight – Florida does require airline travelers from areas hard-hit by the virus, especially New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, to fill out a traveler form with contact information and to self-quarantine for 14 days. And It added a requirement that these visitors must “inform individuals in Florida with whom they have had direct physical contact in the past 21 days that they traveled from an area with substantial community spread.” Failure to abide by these executive orders could subject individuals to imprisonment up to 60 days and a fine up to $500. Clearly the infections in South Florida (Dade/Broward…) came from the NY area – so those folks need to follow the posted rules! I never even implied that Brazilians are undesirables – @cynnils – that is your statement.

  13. Trump can’t make Russia look bad, otherwise they won’t try to help him win by interfering in our upcoming election

  14. @ US-NYC

    Isn’t Pelosi concerned that it will be the US voter that interferes in the upcoming election?

  15. @Airfarer – nope, the Democratic party is pretty cool with the concept of allowing everyone to vote (amazing that this is a controversial subject)…it’s the Republican party that is doing its best to suppress the vote wherever possible, and simultaneously bringing up the mythical voter fraud that doesn’t actually happen in reality

  16. @Cynnils

    Brazil has restricted entry into Brazil since late March or early April, and it has been extended until June 21. This does not apply solely to USA citizens. Let us hope that politics does not get further involved in restricting travel. Medical reasons make sense and restrictions should be lifted based solely on this.

  17. @Cynnils

    Brazil has restricted entry into Brazil since late March or early April, and it has been extended until June 21. This does not apply solely to USA citizens. Let us hope that politics does not get further involved in restricting travel. Medical reasons make sense and restrictions should be lifted based solely on this.

  18. UA-NYC asking for an ID TO VOTE is not a hardship..It is common sense but the liberal DNC states and cities are horrified at that simple rule and are trying to overturn it everywhere

  19. @dot – an ID has never been a requirement, yet somehow the country has functioned pretty well in its elections for a few hundred years now

    Or could it be, as the Cheeto and other elected Republicans have also said, they know their time is up if more Americans are empowered to vote (believe the quote was “we’ll never win an election again”).

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