Entry and Exit
Safety and Security
While Brazil is generally safe to travel to, and safety and security situation varies widely from state to state, there have been reports of deteriorating security situation in some states, including Rio de Janeiro and Ceará. Notably, in view of recent incidents, we strongly advise Singaporeans to avoid visiting “favelas” or shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro, or its immediate vicinity, even with a tour agency. Singaporeans should also avoid travel to several cities of Ceará, including the capital city of Fortaleza, and to check the local media for regular updates on the situation in the state. Those intending to rent a car should be wary that mobile navigation applications do not normally contain safety information, such as areas which are prone to crime. There have been reports of tourists entering these areas by mistake while using mobile navigation applications which have resulted in serious injuries or fatality.
Remain vigilant at all times, for example, when taking public transport or while at major bus / train terminals. There have been reports of robberies on public transport, such as buses. In addition, there have been reports of “arrastão”, or flash robbery, in states such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. This is when a group of robbers, armed or otherwise, appears out of nowhere, to quickly rob a group of unsuspecting individuals. Try to avoid dark and isolated places, especially early in the morning or late at night, including public beaches.
Take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and take care of your personal belongings at all times. Robberies are known to take place even at hotel lobbies and the restricted areas of airports. Avoid showing signs of affluence such as expensive jewellery, watches, clothing and bags, and carry only small amounts of cash. Keep cameras and portable electronic devices, including mobile phones, laptops and tablets, out of sight and leave your valuables in a safe place. For example, refrain from taking valuables to a beach or crowded area. Carry a photocopy of your passport and leave the original in a secure place. The Brazilian police has advised that you should not fight back if robbed but be ready to hand over your valuables as the attacker(s) may be armed.
Demonstrations and political protests can occur at any time and may turn violent. Roads may be closed and the public transport system may be affected and severely disrupted. Avoid areas where demonstrations and protests are taking place, monitor local media for updates and follow the advice of the local authorities when caught in such situations.
In brief, be vigilant and exercise caution for an enjoyable trip to Brazil.
Outbreak of mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever and zika, is not uncommon. Protect yourself against mosquito bites.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a risk of yellow fever transmission in Brazil. All travellers, including Singapore residents, who arrive in Singapore from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission (i.e. wholly or partly endemic for yellow fever) are required to have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Otherwise, they are liable to be quarantined under Section 31 of the Infectious Disease Act, for up to six days upon arrival in Singapore. Non-residents who refuse quarantine will be turned away and returned to his/her place of origin or last port of embarkation.
This approach is consistent with the World Health Organization’s recommendations in the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
The International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is only considered valid 10 days after vaccination and the validity lasts for the life of the person vaccinated.
Please ask your doctor to review your suitability for the yellow fever vaccine.
Please refer to MOH website https://www.moh.gov.sg/diseases-updates/yellow-fever for more information on yellow fever.
Other recommended vaccinations include typhoid, and Hepatitis A and B. Please seek the advice of your medical doctor on the type of vaccinations recommended for travel to Brazil. If you plan to visit other countries in the region before or after Brazil, please also check the types of mandatory vaccinations required as they may differ from those of Brazil.
During the rainy season, ponding and flooding is common. Please exercise caution, especially when driving. The city of Sao Paulo has declared a state of emergency on 12 March 2019 after heavy rains resulted in flooding in several areas of the Metropolitan region of Sao Paulo. Singaporeans travelling to or in Sao Paulo are advised to check the local media for regular updates on the situation in Sao Paulo.
For Singaporeans who are travelling to other countries in Latin America, you may wish to take note that Spanish is the pre-dominant language in Latin America. You should be prepared to engage a translator on the ground for communication purposes. Please seek medical advice before visiting places in the region with high altitude, including what you should do to acclimatise before and upon arrival.
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]
In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.
In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
· Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
· Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
· Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
· eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
· Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
· Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
· Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
· Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.
Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]
There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.