Despite the heightened security fears after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has approved to waive all the visa requirements for selected countries in time for the 2016 Olympics, Brazil's official gazette reports.
According to a law already passed by Congress and signed by Rousseff, the Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Relations will determine the exemption of entrance visas to tourists coming to see the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
'I thank President Rousseff, who in a responsible manner approved such an important project for Brazilian tourism. Our proposal is to include the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, countries with strong Olympic traditions,' said Tourism Minister, Henrique Eduardo Alves in a statement after the announcement.
Rio Times Online reports that the exemption will not be extended to citizens from countries which offer migratory risks or threatens national security. The issue of security during the Olympics has been amply debated in Brazil since the increased terrorist actions in Europe.
Alves hopes that this move by the government will encourage tourism and help revive Brazil's slow economy.
Foreigners from the visa-exempt countries who arrive between June and Sept. 18 will be able to stay for up to 90 days without visa regardless of whether travelers have tickets to Olympic events.
Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo assured that Brazil will take the necessary measures to insure. 'I can guarantee that Brazil is fully prepared to show an excellent security system during the Olympics,' the Justice Minister told reporters.
Aside from the countries to be determined by the Ministries of Tourism, participating athletes and their families, and foreign volunteers are also exempted from visa requirements.
The Olympic will be on August 15 to 21 and the Paralympic Games will follow on September 7 to 18 on Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is also praised for pulling off a mostly incident-free World Cup back in 2014.
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