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29 November
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World

A tropical paradise off the coast of Brazil reabre só para turistas que já tiveram Covid-19

Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the coast of Brazil, is reopening to tourists on September 1

Photo: Divulgação

/NOVOSTIVL/ As countries reopen to tourists amid the coronavirus pandemic, some have banned people from certain countries entirely, made negative COVID-19 tests mandatory, or asked visitors to quarantine.

However, Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the coast of Brazil in the state of Pernambuco, has instituted a previously unseen requirement: To enter, you must prove that you have already had COVID-19.

According to a translated post on Pernambuco's government website, Fernando de Noronha, a national park and UNESCO world heritage site in its entirety, plans on reopening on September 1, but only to "tourists who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are already cured."

The website states that visitors will have to prove that they have had the coronavirus, and submit one of two tests taken more than 20 days before their arrival: a positive PCR virus test or a positive serology test, more commonly known as an antibody test.

A PCR test is a molecular test that shows whether you have an active coronavirus infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 20-day limit means that those who have tested positive for the virus should have since recovered.

The antibody test checks to see whether your immune system has created coronavirus-specific antibodies to fight off the virus. The CDC states that "antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery."

According to Stuff NZ, Guilherme Rocha, the archipelago's administrator, announced the move in a news conference and described it as the first step in Fernando de Noronha's reopening plans.

"In this first stage of reopening, only tourists who have already had COVID and have recovered and are immune to the disease will be authorized [since] they can neither transmit it nor be infected again," he said.

Fernando de Noronha has had 93 confirmed cases and no deaths as of August 30, per Reuters.

Fernando de Noronha has been closed to visitors since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened to locals with homes there as well as researchers in late July. The archipelago is home to one of the world's most beautiful beaches and is one of Brazil's most-visited tourist attractions. It's worth noting that while the CDC no longer advises against nonessential travel, it does warn that "travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19."

Representatives for Pernambuco's government did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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