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Trouble in Paradise? These Brazilian islands have some unusual COVID guidelines

Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands are known for world class beaches, turquoise waters and now for only welcoming travellers who've had COVID-19. Here's what you need to know. 

Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands reopen COVID-19 | Cacimba do Padre beach and Morro do Pico

As the chill of Canadian winter creeps closer, it can be hard to reconcile staying put for much longer, even if Canada has lots of natural wonders you've never even heard of. COVID-19 may have put international travel to a grinding halt earlier this year, but now many countries are re-introducing tourism and re-opening their borders for non-essential travel.

From Europe re-opening borders to Caribbean nations welcoming back sun-seeking visitors, travel is making a comeback. Requirements for entry vary, but the common denominator for most places is the presentation of a negative COVID-19 test (or PCR test), that is until now. 

Officials for Brazil's Fernando de Noronha archipelago recently announced that only visitors who have a positive PCR test that is at least 20 days old, or a test that shows the presence of COVID-19 antibodies will be allowed entry. Talk about a plot twist. 

Fernando de Noronha, a group of 21 stunning volcanic islands, has been closed to tourists since March and is one of Brazil's most popular travel destinations. Once you see the islands' turquoise blue waters in real life or on Instagram, it's no surprise why. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many of the golden sand beaches have received world's best status. 

While there is no guarantee that recovery from COVID-19 leads to long-term immunity, the the islands have been able to avoid deaths so far by enforcing strict rules – unlike the rest of Brazil where over four million people have been infected with the virus. Only time will tell if this new, rogue strategy of allowing entry exclusively to those who have had COVID-19 will work, but anyone who has experienced something as scary as COVID-19 deserves a beach in our books.  

For more information on Fernando de Noronha reopening, click here.

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