Omicron spread forces most Brazilian states to keep restrictions

omicron brazil spread
Pro-Bolsonaro group protest against vaccine mandates in Brazil. Photo: Isaac Fontana/Shutterstock

To curb the spread of the Omicron variant — already responsible for 143 confirmed cases in Brazil according to the Health Ministry’s latest figures — several Brazilian states are maintaining Covid-19 restrictions to avoid the risk of another health collapse. 

According to a survey by news website Poder360, 19 states currently demand vaccine passports for those attending indoor events. Only Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, and Paraná have absolutely no statewide requirements to show proof of vaccination.

The use of facemasks remains mandatory in all cases in most states, except four — including Rio de Janeiro, which regard open public spaces as mask-free zones. 

Despite having more than 67 percent of the population twice vaccinated, Brazil is experiencing a blackout of Covid-19 testing, which many experts believe may be hiding the real speed of the Omicron infection curve.