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Belarus suspends land border departures amid coronavirus

MINSK, 11 December (BelTA) - 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, BelTA has learned.
The document has been adopted to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. "Crossing of the state border of the Republic of Belarus to exit the Republic of Belarus by Belarus citizens and foreign nationals who have Belarus' permanent or temporary residency permit is temporarily suspended," the resolution reads.
The restriction applies to road checkpoints, simplified border checkpoints, checkpoints at railway stations and in river ports.
“In exceptional cases involving extraordinary circumstances, and also in order to ensure the national interests of the Republic of Belarus, the head of the State Border Committee or an authorized official may allow crossing the state border of the Republic of Belarus to depart the country,” the document says.
The new rules do not apply to diplomats, international drivers, business travelers, those visiting seriously ill relatives or funerals, those going to work or study, and others. A cap is imposed on trips for work or study abroad: such trips can be made only once in six months.
There are no restrictions on entry, but those arriving in the country “are required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of arrival in the Republic of Belarus and cannot cross the state border of the Republic of Belarus until the expiration of the self-isolation period”. Foreigners over six years old “must have an original or a copy of a medical document either in hard copy or an electronic form, confirming a negative COVID-19 test result”. The requirement does not apply to citizens with temporary or permanent residency permits.
The decree comes into force 10 days after its official publication.