Christ The Redeemer statue is lit in purple to mark the International Women's Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Mar 8, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
BRASILIA — Brazil has decided to resume entry visa requirements for citizens of the US, Japan, Australia and Canada, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
The country's Foreign Ministry, known as Itamaraty, is set to announce the decision on Thursday to the governments of the four countries. Brazil's government will later publicly announce the measure.
The decision suspends a unilateral decision that former President Jair Bolsonaro's government made in June 2019 to facilitate tourism.
Brazilians still need visas to travel to the four countries.
READ MORE: Brazil minister: Bolsonaro destroyed cultural policies
A diplomatic source said the 2019 decision to lift visa requirements had weakened Brazil's ability to negotiate with those countries.
Brazilian government studies also showed the impact on tourism numbers was minimal, though the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic may have also limited a potential boost.
The number of tourist arrivals from the US – who represent a small fraction of tourists in Brazil – in 2022 was still below 2018 figures.
Meanwhile, the number of Japanese tourists fell in 2019 by 4.5 percent and only 17,000 visited Brazil in 2022.