Brazil Summer 2016 – Things to Know About the Olympics, Zika and Your Relocation
The Rio 2016 games, officially referred to as Games of the XXXI Olympiad, begin in about 50 days and will go on from 5 to 21 August 2016. This will be the first time the Olympic Games are held in South America and more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 counties will be participating. With less than two months left until the games begin, now would be a good time to decide if spending your summer in Brazil during the games is something you would want to do.
Factors to Consider Before Traveling to the Olympics
The Zika virus is spreading rapidly and many would be Olympic travelers are wondering if traveling to Brazil right now is the right thing to do. There are concerns about safety and it is advisable to take precautions. Other safety concerns are connected to the infrastructure that the Brazilian government has put up for the games. Due to the fact that the budget for putting up the infrastructure has been inflated, will Brazilians accept to support the government or will they rebel. If they choose to rebel, there could be strikes, riots and demos and this could put many things into jeopardy. New infrastructure can also be compromised due to the fact that they have been built hurriedly. There are definitely some essential factors to consider before taking a flight to Brazil. For purposes of safety and comfort, the following issues must be considered.
Be Aware of the Health Risks
The World Health Organization has been very specific about Zika by describing it as an international public health emergency. The virus has not been known to have life threatening symptoms except in very rare and extreme situations. For the regular traveler, the virus is not considered to pose any danger even when they visit areas that have been impacted by Zika. For people who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, the virus can be potentially dangerous. Anybody else would have no extenuating explanations to skip the Rio 2016 games.
The Importance of Taking Precautions and Staying Updated
Just recently, the World Health Origination has stated that there is a very low risk of the Zika virus spreading. They have also stated that it is not necessary to move the Olympic Games from Rio or and there is no need to postpone the games altogether. Because the virus has been linked to birth defects, there are precautions that are recommended for women who are either pregnant or are planning to get pregnant. Men who want to attend the games and have pregnant spouses have also been advised. Any pregnant woman is advised not to attend the Olympics. Men who attend must take vital measures to prevent mosquito bites. They should also use condoms or abstain from sexual contact to avert the possibility of transmission of the virus.
Zika Not the Only Threat to Health
But Zika alone is not the only possible health challenge. A mosquito bite could also bring about dengue, a common disease in Brazil and the tropics that can affect anybody. Taking precautions is vital to keeping yourself from this ailment. Water is another area where you must remain watchful about. Avoid tap water and when you take bottled water, ensure that they are tightly sealed and have not been tampered with. Authorities in Rio have done so much to ensure that there is safe drinking water. Pollution is still a problem and bacteria and waterborne infections can be found in Rio’s waters. Activities such as swimming, bathing and wading in the water could be unsafe. It is advisable to have loose fitting and long sleeve attire as well as full length pants and to use insect repellants. You should also stay in accommodations that are mosquito proof. Your beddings should have mosquito nets and you should stay in accommodations that are air conditioned in order remain safe.
Getting the Best Deals
Because the dollar is very strong at the moment, you can get good deals on airfare and a long trip can be quite beneficial. There is very high competition right now among airlines and many regional carriers are offering huge discounts to attract customers. You can get round trip flights for fares as cheap as $650. This is very affordable if you are on a budget. You should also not procrastinate on accommodations because they will become steeper as the event draws near. Prominent places that are in close proximity to Rio such as Copacabana, Barra de Tijuca and Ipanema will see a surge in the number of visitors. Copacabana could still have rentals at less than $400 with Barra de Tijuca and Ipanema available at rates at $230 to $420. During the event, expect rentals to become inflated because of demand. While most of the events during the Olympic Games are already sold out, you can still get tickets for a few events. Some tickets can become available if other attendants cancel. You can register for the Rio ticket web portal where you will get updates. You can also try looking for tickets from registered sellers where you will get specific prices for specific events.
What You Need to Know Locally
Learning more about the local environment will help you with your stay in Brazil. You should learn about areas with potential crime and be aware of the climatic conditions. Rio has high levels of street crime despite that fact that it is a very attractive, exhilarating and affordable city. It helps to ditch valuables such as jewelry, and ensure your phone is tucked into safety. Moving around with a travel money card that has limited money is advisable. You must always remain observant in especially in crowded areas and take care of your belongings and never get distracted because this makes you easy prey for pickpockets. Exploring with a local and walking in large groups helps and it is also advisable to use credible taxis to get around. It’s advisable to call radioed taxis or have the hotel where you stay call the taxi for you.
People from South American and some European nations do not need a tourist visa for Brazil. Due to the games, anyone from USA, Canada, Australia and Japan will also be exempted from June 1st to September 18th.
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State Department issues travel alert for Europe
· In particular, the State Department said matches and events associated with the European soccer championship (UEFA Euro 2016), hosted by France from June 10 to July 10, could represent “potential targets for terrorists.” France has extended its state of emergency through July 26, a period which also includes the Tour de France cycling race.
· The department also said the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, which is expected to draw 2.5 million people between July 26 and 31, could pose problems. Of particular concern is the expected strain on local infrastructure from the influx of millions of people.
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