Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) has ruled over the weekend in favor of a request filed by the opposition to make proof of vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for all incoming foreign travelers, against the wishes of President Jair Bolsonaro.
National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has notified all border crossing authorities to enforce the measure, particularly at airports, because there was no adjustment period, which left passengers already for Brazil in a limbo to be sorted out on a case by case baasis upon arrival.
However, Anvisa still awaits the publication of the ministerial bylaws outlining the specific requirements for foreign travelers.
Anvisa had long recommended the so-called vaccine passport to protect the Brazilian population, especially after the appearance of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The government had refused to abide by such a a restrictive measure against individual freedom and instead proposed a five-day quarantine for foreign travelers, which most specialists found unbecoming since it would be too difficult to control.
Finally, STF Justice Luis Roberto Barroso, responded to a request from the opposition party Rede and determined the implementation of the requirement for vaccines against COVID-19 to enter Brazil, while the Government has so far raised no objections.
The STF plenum is still to either ratify or overrule Barroso's provisional decision sometime this week.
The vaccination certificate has become in recent days the subject of intense controversy between the federal government, regional authorities and scientists.
Brazil is the second country with the highest number of deaths from coronavirus -more than 616,000- since the beginning of the pandemic, surpassed only by the United States, which yesterday exceeded 800,000.
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