Uruguayan Foreign Minister and Economist Ernesto Talvi talks about trade opportunities for Mercosur’s leading economies. (Bloomberg)

Coronavirus pandemic

Brazil and Uruguay agree to close border for 30 days

Only Brazilian citizens or residents, as well as Uruguayans who have Brazilian spouses or children, may enter from the neighbouring country.

Brazil and Uruguay agreed on Sunday to close their land border for the next 30 days, the Uruguayan foreign minister said.

"Brazil has just issued a decree, which is the one we agreed upon, and we will issue a mirror decree" in the next few hours, Ernesto Talvi said in a statement.

According to the Brazilian ministerial decree, only Brazilian citizens or residents, as well as Uruguayans who have Brazilian spouses or children, may enter from the neighbouring country.

Freight transport may continue to cross the border in both directions, and the measure also allows for the free movement of those who reside in border cities.

The Uruguayan decree will follow the same lines.

Brazil on Thursday announced it was closing its land borders for 15 days to nearly all its neighbours to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A ministerial decree said it was blocking entry "by road or land" from all neighbouring countries, with the exception of Uruguay to the south.

The decree, which went into immediate effect, prohibits entry to foreigners from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname.

The restrictions do not apply to Brazilian nationals or to foreigners residing in the country.

Trucks carrying goods and people on humanitarian missions are allowed to continue to enter Brazil.

– AFP