The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday (29) that it is “watching with interest the situation of Brazilians unable to travel” because they are in countries in South Africa that have closed their borders with Brazil to prevent the spread of Omicron. variant of the coronavirus.
According to Itamaraty, stations abroad, along with airlines operating in the area, are looking for alternative flights or itineraries for Brazilians to ride on.
According to Decree No. 660, from Monday onwards, international flights to Brazil that start or pass through South Africa, Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe in the last 14 days.
In South Africa alone, the Embassy in Pretoria and the Consulate General in Cape Town have registered requests for assistance from about 240 Brazilians, 230 of whom are tourists, after creating a virtual form on the consular portal.
Daniel, his father, Roberto, his mother, Laura, and his brother Rafael during a trip to South Africa – Photo: personal archive
Among them is Daniel Trigo Rizzuto from Sao Paulo and his family, whose trip to Brazil was canceled last Sunday (28) and still without prospects as to when they will be able to travel.
“We are experiencing tremendous tension. Nobody knows anything. They don’t know when flights will return, in fact all flights have been cancelled. The flights that were leaving today were already full, and no one could be moved. They said to go back there on Monday for more info. “We have no idea what will happen,” he says, who is based in Cape Town.
On Sunday, he and his family called the Brazilian embassy in South Africa and filled out the form submitted.
What we want is a definition from the government. Why was the closure decided? [das fronteiras aéreas brasileiras para pessoas vindas do continente africano]We understand that it is a security measure, but Nothing has been said about the people here in Africa, not just South Africa, but the other five countries… How will they go home? “, Asks.
He adds: How do we stay in this situation? Will there be an emergency flight so we can go home? Because life will go on, we have commitments, and it’s our home, we need to go back… Until now we don’t have a clue how we’ll get back.”
Daniel and his father Roberto, his brother Rafael and his mother Laura during a trip to South Africa – Photo: Personal Archive
Daniel says he got to know the new look through friends and family who are in Brazil. “Here, we only know what we hear on the radio, that a new variant has appeared, which is being studied, but there is no solution. And everything is working normally, bars, restaurants, markets, galleries, cafes … People do not seem to be worried about that.”
The engineer says no one in the group had any symptoms of Covid-19, and he remembers that they took tests to be able to travel, and that they all came back negative. This Saturday, they were going to have a new test, but with the flight cancelled, this has also been put on hold.
His vacation is due to end on Sunday, he’ll have to go back to work as well, so he’s trying to negotiate with his boss. “This uncertainty makes us very anxious. We have work, my girlfriend, who is in Sao Paulo, friends, family… and I don’t know how long I will stay here. I am talking to everyone there to have understanding and patience at the moment.”
Added to this lack of expectations about return is the expenses that arose from the need to extend the trip indefinitely, since the costs of accommodation and food are covered by the family itself. “We pay for everything, we don’t know if there are any refunds.”
Daniel, his brother Rafael and his parents Roberto and Laura during a trip to South Africa – Photo: Personal archive
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