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10 Dec 2020

Belarus' border service comments on departure restrictions amid COVID-19

Belarus' border service comments on departure restrictions amid COVID-19

MINSK, 10 December (BelTA) – Belarus’ State Border Committee commented on the decision to restrict departures amid COVID-19, BelTA learned from the press service of the State Border Committee.

“The restrictions come into force on 00.00 on 21 December and will apply to foreign nationals and Belarusian citizens crossing the border in both directions through ground checkpoints on the border with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. Similar measures, in various forms, were imposed in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. Thus, the departure of Belarusian citizens and foreign nationals living permanently in our country through ground checkpoints, except for some cases, is temporarily suspended. The restriction will not apply to air checkpoints,” State Border Committee said.

Restrictions on entry for foreigners through ground checkpoints remain in force. In addition, foreign nationals over six years old will need medical documents confirming the negative PRC tests for COVID-19.

“Foreign nationals and Belarusian citizens arriving from the countries included by the Healthcare Ministry of Belarus in the list of COVID-19 high-risk countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of arrival. They cannot cross the state border of the Republic of Belarus until the expiration of the self-isolation period. In case of the 24-hour transit and the documentary proof of this transit, no COVID-19 test or the 10-day self-isolation will be required. If the transit time exceeds 24 hours, the traveler may cross the border only if he or she has the corresponding medical document,” the State Border Committee said.

The document lists the categories of persons that are not subject to temporary restrictions. For example, these are diplomats, members of official delegations, international drivers, foreigners traveling for work or medical assistance, Belarusian nationals traveling abroad on notification of death or illness of a relative, as well as for work, on business, education and others. The rule does not apply to Russian citizens transiting through Belarus to the Russian Federation.

People may be allowed to cross the border in exceptional cases.

“Border checkpoints will continue to operate, yet with stricter restrictions in place in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection in Belarus,” the State Border Committee said.

Belarus has restricted departure across land borders amid the coronavirus pandemic. Resolution No. 705 of the Council of Ministers of 7 December "On amending the Council of Ministers' Resolution No. 208 of 8 April 2020 and Resolution No. 624 of 30 October 2020" was published on the National Legal Internet Portal on 10 December. The document has been adopted to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. The decree comes into force 10 days after its official publication.

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