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Closed five months ago due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the paradise island of Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Brazil, has decided, as a safety measure, to reserve its access to tourists who have already caught coronavirus.
The island authorities announced this measure on their Instagram account on Thursday, intended to “guarantee the protection of everyone”. “At first, only tourists who have had COVID-19 will be allowed to disembark,” the message warns.
Renowned for its wild beaches and luxury boutiques, this volcanic island of 3,000 inhabitants is very popular with the Brazilian jet set but also abroad.
Visitors, who usually only have to pay an environmental conservation tax upon arrival, will now be invited from 1 September to additionally present the results of tests proving that they have been contaminated with the disease in the past.
Tourists admitted to the island will be given an identification bracelet and will only be able to roam around as they wish after having observed a period of quarantine or having been declared negative this time for the coronavirus after a new test.
“We are reopening responsibly, with caution and without haste,” explained Guilherme Rocha, the administrator of the archipelago on which the island of Fernando de Noronha depends. “Haste is the enemy of life, we cannot do everything at once”.
Fernando de Noronha had closed its doors on March 21 in the face of the spread of the epidemic which exploded in Brazil, the first Latin American country affected by COVID-19 and the second in the world, after the United States, with nearly 3.8 million cases and 120,000 deaths.
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