The players of the ten teams that will play in the Copa America will not be obliged to be vaccinated. The statement comes from the Brazilian Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga.
‘The vaccine issue is not an obligation. If they are vaccinated, so much the better. But we’re not going to try to vaccinate now. Because the vaccine can cause a reaction, and that could compromise the competitiveness of the players, ‘he said. Initially, the government said it wanted all players to be vaccinated.
‘If vaccination was mandatory at this time, they would not have immunity by the start of the competition,’ added the minister, who recalled that other competitions are taking place in Brazil without this requirement, such as the World Cup qualifiers or the Copa Libertadores.
The coordinator of the Copa America, André Pedrinelli, however clarified that six of the ten delegations which will play the tournament (composed of 65 people each) are already completely vaccinated and that two others will finish it before the start of the competition which starts. Sunday and ends on July 10.
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro has agreed to organize the tournament to replace Argentina, which has seen its organization canceled due to the worsening pandemic. This decision was strongly contested by experts given the seriousness of the health situation in Brazil, the second most bereaved country in the world by Covid-19 with more than 474,400 dead.
Among other health protection measures, all members of the delegations will undergo a PCR test every 48 hours, stay in single rooms and isolated floors in their hotels. They will travel between the four host cities by chartered planes, in addition to having reduced mobility during their stay to avoid the crowds.
‘All matches will be played without an audience in the stands. It is therefore a controlled environment ‘, assured the minister.