Learn how the pandemic is affecting air travel and individual airline policies 

Even with the gradual opening of many countries to tourism, air travel in 2021 is still not back to normal. Faced with the scenario of uncertainties caused by the advance of the coronavirus, airlines had to adopt new rules and protocols so that passengers feel safer, and of course, that they respect what is required by the authorities. 

Rule number one, both for domestic and international air travel, is to wear a protective mask. For now, the only national destination where the RT-PCR test is required is Fernando de Noronha. The Covid exam needs to be done within 48 hours before the trip and the negative report presented at the time of boarding.

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In the case of international flights, for people who need to return or enter Brazil, they must present the negative/non-reactive RT-PCR test for covid-19, carried out up to 72 hours before boarding. The examination report must be shown to the airline at the time of check in along with the  Traveler's Health Statement, that must be filled up to 72 hours before boarding.

However, there are entry restrictions that each country sets for travelers and they change frequently, especially for international air travel, so before buying a ticket, it is essential to check all the requirements required by the destination and the airline. 

Check below the particularities of the main companies operating in Brazil: 

Latam Covid-19: see the requirements for flights

Latam offers options for both domestic flights in Brazil and international flights to Latin America, United States and Europe. Inside the plane, on every flight the use of masks is mandatory and it is the responsibility of each passenger to provide their own. They must completely cover the nose and mouth (with no spaces left at the bottom), and can be of the following types:

  • Traditional surgeries
  • N95 and KN95 (without valves) 
  • Handcrafted fabric

The use of:

  • Mask with valve (any type)
  • Scarves or face masks layered with fabric (wool yarn).
  • Fabric scarves or bandanas
  • plastic mouth guards

No passenger will be able to enter the plane without a mask, the only exception is for children between two and eleven years old and for people who have a medical condition that makes it impossible to wear them. In this case, the passenger must complete the MEDIF form and send it to Latam through the Contact Form, or have a medical certificate issued up to 10 days before departure. In case of severe pathologies, it should not be longer than 7 days.

Check other rules established by Latam for international destinations in this link. 

Gol Covid-19: see the requirements for flights

goal discount covid test

Photo: Disclosure

Gol is a Brazilian airline that operates domestic flights and other destinations in South America, North America and the Caribbean. If you are traveling by plane with the company, be careful, as the company ONLY authorizes the following masks: 

  • Disposable surgical masks;
  • Masks of models PFF2 and N95, both without valve; 
  • Triple layer fabric masks. 

For more information on requirements and protocols for international flights, visit link from the Gol website. 

Azul Covid-19: see the requirements for flights

Azul operates domestic flights departing from Brazil and also offers options to the United States and Portugal. Like most airlines, Azul also has restrictions on the use of masks, allowing only the following types: 

  • Disposable surgeries;
  • High efficiency masks (N95, PFF2 or equivalent – all without valves);
  • Homemade masks made of fabric (made with double layer);

There is no obligation to wear masks for children under the age of three (on domestic flights) or children under the age of 2 years (on flights to the United States). Passengers with disabilities that prevent them from properly using a face protection mask must complete the MEDIF form (access here) at least 72 business hours before the flight. 

Are flights being suspended in 2021? 

  • So far, passengers who have been in Brazil in the last 14 days are not allowed to enter North American territory.
  • Tourism flights to/from Portugal are suspended until April 17. 

For more information, visit this link from the Blue website. 

TAP Air Covid-19: see flight requirements

TAP Air is the main airline in Portugal and offers direct flights from Brazil to the cities of Porto and Lisbon. Since February, entry into Portuguese territory has been allowed only for passengers on flights from countries that are part of the European Union and countries associated with the Schengen Area.

Flights from Brazil are suspended until April 15

In the case of people traveling by plane from countries that are not part of the European Union, or the Schengen Area, entry will be allowed only for:

  • Nationals of the European Union or States associated with the Schengen Area with legal residence in a Member State of the European Union;
  • Third-country nationals traveling for professional, study, family, health or humanitarian reasons.
  • Passengers on repatriation or humanitarian flights organized under the law.

All passengers bound for Portugal, whether as a final destination or connection, must complete This one online form after check-in and present the voucher at checkpoints. 

Also, to enter the country. it is necessary to present the Covid RT-PCR test with a negative result performed within 72 hours prior to the time of boarding. With the exception of children under 24 months of age. TAP only accepts in the following languages: Portuguese, French, English, Spanish and Italian. The rule also applies to Portuguese residents and citizens. 

For people traveling from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, and Latvia, quarantine is also required. They must follow the 14-day social isolation at their residence or other place indicated by the authorities, if the time of stay in Portugal is longer than 48 hours. 

Passengers from the Madeira and Azores regions do not need to present the test to board to Portugal. 

The use of a face mask is mandatory on board on all TAP plane trips for passengers over the age of 6, and is only waived for people who have proven health problems that prevent them from using it. In these cases, to travel, the passenger needs a medical authorization (MEDIF) boarding pass prior to your trip.

There are destinations with specific procedures, confirm on here for more information. 

Delta Airlines Covid-19: See flight requirements

Delta is one of the main airlines that operates flights in Brazil to the United States, but so far, passengers who have been in Brazil in the last 14 days are not allowed to enter North American territory. 

Entry into the US is currently authorized for: 

  • US citizens and US permanent residents;
  • spouses of US citizens and permanent residents;
  • parents/legal guardians of an unmarried person under the age of 21 in the United States or permanently resident in the United States;
  • single and under the age of 21 who is a brother or sister of a US citizen or permanent resident of the US, also single and under the age of 21;
  • child/adoptive child/dependent of a US citizen or US permanent resident;
  • passengers with the following types of US visa: A-1, A-2, C-1, C-1/D, C-2, C-3, CR-1, CR-2, D, E-1 (as TECRO or TECO employee or members of the employee's immediate family), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, IR-1, IR-4, IH-4, NATO-1 to NATO-4 or NATO-6;
  • members of the US Armed Forces, spouses and children of members of the US Armed Forces;
  • passengers who prove to be traveling at the invitation of the US government for a purpose related to the containment of the Coronavirus (COVID-19);
  • passengers with documents issued by the US Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection or US Department of State, indicating that the passenger is exempt from the restriction;
  • B1 crew members involved in lighter activities, Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), wind farm activity, private air/sea crew and other similar active crew members;
  • students with F-1 or M-1 visas and their F-2 and M-2 dependents – provided they have not arrived or been in Brazil, China and Iran in the last 14 days.
  • Passports issued to citizens of Belarus (Belarus) that have expired between April 30, 2020 and July 31, 2020 are considered valid with an extension of 3 months;

In these circumstances, the number one rule for traveling with Delta is the use of a mask, which is now a federal law, which excludes mandatory use only for children under two years of age. Travelers with disabilities who cannot use the accessory must complete the airline's 'Authorization to Fly' process, which includes consultation with a third-party medical professional prior to departure at the airport.

Delta recommends a surgical or medical mask, a synthetic or fabric mask made with tightly sewn 3- or 4-layer material, or a valveless respirator (N95 or KN95).

All travelers over two years of age entering or connecting to the United States from any location outside the United States must have a negative coronavirus test result, which must be done three days prior to departure. match.

Tests must follow the following modalities: molecular test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), RT-PCR test, LAMP test or antigen test. Antibody tests are not accepted. People who have already been infected with the virus and are recovered must present a letter from a healthcare provider or public health authority stating that they are authorized to travel. 

All travelers must also sign an affidavit certifying that they received a negative result before flying, and they are encouraged to complete the form in advance and bring the signed document to the airport. 

For more information, visit the link on Delta's website with Entry requirements for international travel that change all the time. 

Do we already know what the future of post-pandemic travel will be like?

Photo: Delta Airlines / Reproduction

Emirates Covid-19: See flight requirements

Emirates offers air travel from Brazil to various regions such as Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Many connections are made at Dubai International Airport, so it is important to be aware of the rules of this destination. 

The first is the mandatory use of a cloth or surgical mask, with the exception of children under the age of six and passengers with certain medical conditions, whose use is permitted.

Due to local government regulations, only surgical masks are accepted on flights from Dubai to Germany, France and Austria. If, for medical reasons, the passenger cannot wear a mask during the entire trip, he/she must complete a Medical Information Form (MEDIF) before the flight.

It is intended for people with the following cognitive, intellectual or sensory conditions

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Insanity
  • hydrocephalus
  • Down's syndrome
  • development delay
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

People who need supplemental oxygen or have the following respiratory conditions:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cardiac insufficiency
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma

If you are transiting through Dubai from one of the countries below, you must present a certificate of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken no later than 72 hours before your flight. Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate or severe disabilities are not required to take the test. In addition, any mandatory requirements in the country of final destination

Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq , Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, Africa South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

How is air travel in 2021

Photo: Lei Jiang / Unsplash

Copa Airlines Covid-19: see flight requirements

Copa Airlines operates flights from Brazil to countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean, but all flights connect through Panama. Inside the flight, it is mandatory to wear masks and make sure of all the criteria and requirements before traveling. Most countries have implemented at least one of these protocols:

  • Negative PCR test for Covid-19
    – Mandatory quarantine on arrival at destination
    – Sworn declaration of health
    – Travel and medical insurance.

Therefore, before boarding or even buying your ticket, check the requirements that the country requires, in this link from the website of Copa Airlines.

Read too:

» Rules for traveling by plane from Brazil
» COVID test and updated rules for traveling to Brazil
» How to choose travel insurance: check out the step by step

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