Australians due to travel to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup are being urged to go fully prepared as a wave of protest, strikes and crime sweeps the country in the build-up to the event.
Last week, protests fired up in 12 cities nationwide including Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Recife, with many taking advantage of the media spotlight to air grievances which range from the cost of hosting the event, to ongoing corruption and inequality.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade service advised Aussies to “exercise a high degree of caution” due to the high crime levels.
“Large scale protests have occurred in many cities throughout Brazil disrupting private and public transportation,” it said.
“During the World Cup it is expected that these protests will continue and possibly increase.”
It advised travellers to avoid all protests and demonstrations in case they turn violent and urged them to heed the directions of police or security, particularly in stadiums.
Minister for foreign affairs Julie Bishop on Friday reiterated the advice, strongly suggesting that all Australians planning to travel to Brazil visit the Smartraveller website for further information on a range of topics from ticketing, visas and transport to safety and security.
“To ensure you receive the latest updates to the bulletin and the travel advice, I encourage Australians to subscribe to Smartraveller, so e-mail updates can be sent directly to you while you are on the move,” she said.
“I also strongly advise all Australians travelling to the World Cup to register their travel and contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and to take out comprehensive travel insurance.”