154,586 British nationals visited Brazil in 2018. Despite high crime levels, most visits are trouble free.

Problems have been reported with the tap water supply in Rio de Janeiro. To avoid associated health risks, you should use only bottled water. See Health

Record rains hit the state of Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil, over the weekend of 25-26 January, leading to flooding. Reports state there have been 53 deaths in the state of Minas Gerais, and nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. See Natural disasters

You are likely to see a heavy police presence on the streets, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, including occasional checkpoints. Cars are usually slowed down to single file and have to drive past with windows down. If you’re asked to stop by the police at a checkpoint, stay calm and follow the instructions given.

Levels of crime including violent crime are high, particularly in major cities. You should be particularly vigilant before and during Carnival when a large number of people gather in parties on the street. Bank card fraud including credit card cloning is common. See Crime

The security situation is many favelas (shanty towns) is unpredictable, particularly in Rio de Janeiro. Any visit to a favela can be dangerous. You’re advised to avoid these areas in all cities, including ‘favela tours’ marketed to tourists and any accommodation, restaurants or bars advertised as being within a favela. See Favelas

Protests take place regularly across Brazil and often without warning. Roads and public transport are often severely disrupted. Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place, monitor local media and follow the advice from the local authorities. See Demonstrations and civil unrest

There is an increased risk of unrest in the border region with Venezuela where tensions are running high over immigration. In February 2019, the Venezuelan de facto authorities ordered the temporary closure of the land border; it reopened on 7 June. You should monitor local media for updates. The FCO advise against all travel within 40km of the Venezuela-Brazil border on the Venezuelan side of the border. See FCO travel advice for Venezuela

Terrorist attacks in Brazil can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

If you’re a single parent or guardian travelling with a child, you may need additional documentation. This applies if one parent is Brazilian, even if your child only holds a British passport. See Entry requirements

Drug trafficking is widespread in Brazil, and incurs severe penalties. See Local laws and customs

You should take steps to avoid mosquito bites. UK health authorities have classified Brazil as having a risk of Zika virus transmission and chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue are present. Cases of dengue fever have increased, especially in the north, south-east and central-west of Brazil and the state of Minas Gerais is on alert due to an increase in dengue, chikungunya and zika cases. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and check the recommendations for vaccination. See Health

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. The Money Advice Service can help you to consider the type of insurance you need. It is a free and independent service set up by government.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.