Marcelo Queiroga, Brazil’s Health Minister, criticized requirements for people to show proof of vaccination before entering events and closed establishments. Cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have ordered stores to demand customers’ “vaccination passports” before allowing entry, but kept bars and restaurants exempt from the rule.
Speaking to CNN Brasil, Mr. Queiroga said the measure is unreasonable and “restricts people’s freedom of movement.” He added that the Brazilian population is extremely keen to get vaccinated, making any forms of coercive measures unnecessary. Mr. Queiroga promised that any Brazilian who wants a vaccine will get at least one shot by September 15.
Mayors and governors argue that “vaccination passports” can help prevent unvaccinated people from infecting others, as only 30 percent of Brazilians are fully immunized so far. Meanwhile, the Delta variant is becoming increasingly more prevalent in Covid-19 samples tested in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
The Health Ministry is trying to stop states and municipalities from enacting their own coronavirus measures. Earlier this week, the government warned it could not promise vaccine supplies for cities and states which deviate from the national vaccination program and intend to distribute booster shots.