Covid-19: Anvisa adopts new measures for airports and aircraft

Covid-19: Anvisa adopts new measures for airports and aircraft

18 Aug 2022

The Collegiate Board of Anvisa approved, this Wednesday (17/8), new measures to be adopted at airports and aircraft, due to the end of the Public Health Emergency of National Importance (ESPIN) caused by the new coronavirus. The main change is the end of the mandatory use of masks in these environments. The use of masks becomes a recommendation, especially for people with flu symptoms and for the most vulnerable public, such as immunocompromised, pregnant women and the elderly.

According to director Alex Campos, rapporteur for the matter, “The absence of negative impacts in projections made to make public health measures more flexible does not put in doubt the effectiveness of masks as a collective prevention measure against Covid-19, used rationally and timely in critical and uncertain scenarios of pandemic behavior. However, the analyzes carried out considered the current epidemiological context of the disease in Brazil and in the world, and demonstrated that the advance of vaccination allows the relaxation of collective restrictive measures adopted with a focus on containing this disease.”

Anvisa acted, once again, within its legal competences, after a robust assessment of the Brazilian and global epidemiological scenario, observation of behavior with seasonal characteristics of the pandemic, data mining on indicators of the pandemic and scientific studies, adapting current rules in proportion to the risk to the health of the population.

Despite the withdrawal of the mandatory use of masks in airports and aircraft, there is no doubt about its effectiveness as an important instrument of individual protection. Therefore, Anvisa will continue to recommend its use, including through sound warnings to be broadcast on aircraft, under the terms of the new Resolution approved.

Other protective measures, however, must be maintained, such as the availability of gel alcohol at airports and aircraft, carrying out cleaning and disinfection procedures, the optimized functioning of air conditioning systems and disembarkation organized by rows.


Anvisa edited the first specific rules to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in airports and aircraft on December 17, 2020, through Resolution of the Collegiate Board of Directors (RDC) 456. At the time, there were approximately 700 deaths daily, 24 daily cases, with ascending curves of the number of cases and deaths, and absence of vaccination. This scenario required the Agency to act to issue measures to protect the population at airports and aircraft.

Following the dynamic scenario evidenced by the pandemic indicators, the standard was updated in two other previous moments. The first of them was in March 2021 (RDC 477), when there was a ban on the use of certain types of masks, with low protection capacity, in order to reduce the spread of Sars-CoV-2 at a critical moment of the pandemic.

In May 2022, still in view of the epidemiological scenario, Anvisa expressed its opinion on the amendment of RDC 456/2020, so that the use of protective face masks inside aircraft and in restricted areas of airports would be maintained. However, considering the progress of immunization in the country and the hospitalization data, it was possible to make other measures more flexible through RDC 684/2022, such as the resumption of the on-board service, the withdrawal of the mandatory distance, which remained as a recommendation, and the possibility of carrying out the cleaning and disinfection procedure during loading and unloading.

The adoption of the new health measures approved this Wednesday (17/8) considered the country's epidemiological scenario, with a downward trend in the indicators of new cases and stability in the number of deaths from Covid-19. Other factors taken into account were the epidemiological projections, the behavior with signs of seasonality of the pandemic and the good immunization rates of the Brazilian population.

The data reinforces that vaccination is an essential public health measure to reduce fatality rates by Covid-19 in all age groups. In addition, the advance of immunization in Brazil allowed the relaxation of sanitary measures, with a gradual return to normality, which must always be guided by the principle of precaution and health protection.

In his vote, director Alex Campos thanked Brazilian society for its contribution and adherence to the collective health measures imposed until then and emphasized that, due to the mandatory use of masks in the most critical moments experienced, it was possible to achieve this situation so desired by all. passengers, workers and the airport community.

Anvisa reiterates that sanitary measures to protect health need to be proportional to the risk. In this sense, the Agency considered that the end of the mandatory use of masks and distancing are proportionate and appropriate measures for the current scenario. Therefore, collective protective measures become important non-pharmacological tools for individual protection.

The Agency will remain vigilant regarding the epidemiological scenario, so that it can promptly adopt the measures that are pertinent to the protection of the health of the Brazilian population.