Against the backdrop of strict restrictive measures in the United States and many European countries, Brazil demonstratively opened borders to foreign tourists, although until recently it was considered one of the main foci of the coronavirus, writes the German newspaper Die Welt.
The first quarantine tired Europeans have already taken advantage of this and went on vacation or moved their remote workplace to Rio de Janeiro, where more is possible for them than at home.
While the United States and many European countries adhere to lockdowns and travel restrictions, Brazil has defiantly opened its borders to tourists, according to the German newspaper Die Welt. The Germans also poured into the country and walk in the bars of Rio, as if there is no pandemic, although they have fled to the risk zone, emphasizes the author of the article Tobias Koifer.
There are a lot of Europeans in the bars of Rio de Janeiro now – these are Scandinavians, Spaniards, Germans.
“There are clubs, beaches, and restaurants here. Life goes on, – said one of the German tourists, who did not want to give his name. “I don’t know if it will be well received at home when everyone in my environment reads that I’m getting into a hustle and bustle here.”
Some of the bars are located on a hill overlooking the rooftops of Rio and are practically open-air. You can get there only along narrow lanes, but this does not stop visitors: they are ready to tolerate crowds for a good party, and the guests do not feel the danger of coronavirus infection, the article notes.
Just a couple of weeks ago, this was unthinkable. Brazil was considered one of the world’s hotbeds of the coronavirus pandemic, but President Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the danger of a pandemic, Die Welt assures. A large country in South America was considered a negative example of dealing with the coronavirus also because Bolsonaro advocated an economy-friendly course, despite the insistence of local governors, and spoke out against a general lockdown. “I will not send my people into poverty just to get media approval,” the Brazilian president said.
However, now the situation has changed, the German newspaper notes. Brazil, with more than 170,000 coronavirus deaths, has emerged from the sad list of the ten countries with the highest death rates. With about 190 new infections per million inhabitants every day, Brazil is doing even better than Germany, which has 210 infections per million inhabitants.
There are two opposite tendencies in tourism now, according to Til Pupak, a German entrepreneur who settled in Rio, who deals with rental housing issues. On the one hand, there are people who want to move their workplace from home to other, more pleasant places, including Rio de Janeiro. Domestic tourism in Brazil, surprisingly, is now also booming.
Statistics show that the number of rented accommodation rented by travelers from Europe to Rio de Janeiro has recently increased slightly: those who can afford to work from anywhere in the world thanks to remote location, as well as entertainment workers, for example, DJs who are now unable to find something to do in Europe due to quarantine restrictions. “There is simply more possible here now than in Germany. I will use the chance to get to know this country better, ”admitted German DJ and composer Jean-Christoph Ritter. This is not his first time in Brazil and wants to stay here for a few weeks.
Experienced tour guide and travel guide author Helmut Taubald also talks about the first Europeans to choose Brazil over lockdown at home. After weeks of virtually ruin international tourism, the first guests from Germany and Switzerland are now returning to their holiday destinations. “These are tourists who want to get out of the lockdown and, for the most part, know Brazil,” explains Taubald. According to him, they benefit not only from the Brazilian summer and the opportunity to walk in the open air and go to the beach, but also from the exchange rate. “Brazil has become extremely beneficial for the Germans,” Taubald stresses.
Although the German foreign ministry is advising tourists against traveling based on the coronavirus situation, the Brazilian authorities have made everything relatively easy for guests. It is not necessary to present a coronavirus test when entering the country, there is no quarantine either. This can also be regarded as a political signal from the government of Bolsonaro to the local tourism industry. On the contrary, India, which is no less popular among fans of long journeys, does not even issue tourist visas, says Die Welt.
Meanwhile, the pandemic in Brazil is far from over. The other day it was reported an increase in the number of infected among young people aged 20 to 29 years. According to the author of the article, this suggests that celebrations in clubs, visits to samba schools, and bars do not pass without consequences.
However, the main test of strength for the celebrated Rio de Janeiro is still ahead: the traditional New Year’s fireworks, which attracts millions of people to the Copacabana area, will not be held this year, as well as the carnival procession on the world-famous Sambodrome Street – it was postponed to July … However, it is difficult to imagine that the residents of Rio de Janeiro would refuse to celebrate the New Year on their usual scale and from large-scale parties, the journalist notes.
Life in large samba schools now seems to be back to pre-crisis