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The challenge of COVID-19 for business travel and mobility: Brazil and beyond

Global business travel and workforce mobility have been severely affected by COVID-19, but differing restrictions potentially also create opportunities. This article examines the current limited mobility restrictions in Brazil, and contrasts this with the position in other jurisdictions in the Ius Laboris network.

According to a recent survey conducted on the World Health Organization’s website, as of 23 October 2020 there are 24,818 new cases and 5,298,772 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brazil and 155,403 deaths (see here). 

This means that Brazil is currently one of the top three countries with the worst hit for infections, after the US and India (see here). 

Nonetheless, while the US and India have adopted restrictive measures on entry into their countries, Brazil’s response has been less extreme. Although the first Ordinances issued back in March restricted the entrance of foreign visitors by every means of transportation, since 29 JulyBrazil only restricts the entrance of foreigners by road, and by other land or waterway transport. These Ordinances are normally issued with a term of validity of 30 days; the current onewhich will expire on 13 November 2020 created a further exception for entrance by road or other land transportation for Paraguayan citizens.  

Note that the restrictions do not apply to born or naturalised Brazilians or to the following:  

  • immigrants with residence in Brazil for a fixed or indefinite term;  
  • duly identified foreign professionals on mission for an international organisation;  
  • foreign employees accredited to the Brazilian Government;  
  • spouses, partnerschildren, parents or guardians of a Brazilian citizen 
  • foreign nationals whose entry is specifically authorised by the Brazilian Government in the public interest; and  
  • holders of a National Migration Registry card (the Brazilian ID card for foreigners).   


In addition, these measures do not prevent: 

  • the execution of cross-border humanitarian actions previously authorised by the local health authorities;  
  • the movement of border residents in twin cities, upon presentation of a border resident document or other supporting document, provided that reciprocity in the treatment of Brazilians by the neighbouring country is guaranteed; and  
  • the free traffic of road cargo transportation, even if the driver does not fit the restriction exemptions. 


Taking into account the fact that, in most cases, our Global Mobility community travels by air, there are currently no restrictions for foreign nationals on travel to Brazil. Therefore, foreign travellers irrespective of their nationality are eligible to enter Brazil by air, provided that the migratory requirements appropriate to their condition are complied with, including holding an entry visa when required by the Brazilian legal system. 

Moreover, Brazil does not impose quarantine measures for arrivals and is open for global mobility travellers 


COVID-19 has affected the globally mobility business community in many negative ways, but it also some brought positive aspects, as the possibility of remote work has been exploited to an extent that has never been seen before. Given its relatively open borders, Brazil is well placed to become a hub in Latin America for multinational companies with a presence in the country, potentially bringing a globally mobile workforce to work and live in the country. For Brazil this could be an advantage for business development and specially for Brazilian economy. 

The view from other places.

New Zealand:
Written by
Veirano Advogados, one of the leading and most renowned Brazilian business and employment law firms.
Gabriela Lessa
Associate - Brazil
Veirano Advogados