Brazil Supreme Court Imposes Vaccine Passport on Foreigners over Bolsonaro

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso ruled on Saturday Brazil’s federal government must require all foreign travelers to present proof of vaccination against the Chinese coronavirus before they are allowed entry into the country, Brazil’s Folha Press agency reported on Monday.

The new mandate went into effect on December 13 and requires anyone traveling to Brazil via international flights or land borders to present a so-called “vaccine passport” to customs and border officials before they may be granted entry.

“The rule was imposed after an injunction (provisional) by supreme court justice Luís Roberto Barroso, and granted this Saturday [December 11], in a lawsuit presented by the Rede Sustentabilidade party,” Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported on December 13.

Barroso asked that his ruling “be sent to [a] referendum in an extraordinary session of the virtual plenary of the [Supreme] Court,” Agencia Brasil reported on December 11.

The Rede Sustentabilidade party filed a petition with Brazil’s Supreme Court asking for the body to rule that a previous foreign travel ordinance issued by the government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — which allowed for the option of coronavirus testing and did not strictly enforce a vaccine requirement — be deemed insufficient to prevent coronavirus transmission.

“Rede Sustentabilidade … demand[ed] that the government adopt the so-called ‘vaccine passport,'” CNN Brasil reported on December 9.

“The party accuses the federal administration of having failed to fight the disease for not reviewing restrictions on international arrivals, as recommended by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa),” the news site noted.

President Bolsonaro had in recent days denied Anvisa’s requests “to demand vaccination proof from visitors [to Brazil],” Reuters recalled on December 11.

“At the land border, the [Bolsonaro] government only wanted to require a negative Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] test for those who had not received the immunization,” Folha de Sao Paulo noted on Monday.

Justice Barroso said in his decision on December 11 Brazil must avoid supporting what he described as “antivaccine tourism.”

“[T]he requirement for proof of vaccination can be waived only when the traveler comes from a country where no vaccines are available or the individual was prevented from vaccination due to health reasons,” Reuters reported on Saturday.

Gabrielle Reyes