Foreigners will be able to stay in the Belarusian cities of Hrodna and Brest up to ten days soon, Deputy Prime Minister Anatol Kalinin said on Friday.
“The draft presidential decree regulating visa-free travel of foreign citizens is going through the final stage of the approval process. The visa-free travel program will be extended to ten days in Brest and Hrodna as well as their surrounding territories,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the top official.
According to him, the ten-day period may be extended in the future.
The move may result in increasing the flow of foreign tourists to Belarus, Kalinin believes.
In October 2016, the Belarusian authorities released Decree No. 318 making it possible for foreigners to be without a visa in Hrodna and Auhustauski Canal for five days. Visa-free travel procedure covered foreign citizens crossing the state border of Belarus with Poland through the checkpoints Lyasnaya and Bruzgi, with Lithuania through border crossing points Švendubrė and Raigardas. Not so long ago Hrodna welcomed its 50,000th visa free tourist.
This scheme also works for visa-free entry to the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest in Brest region. Foreigners come to the park on the basis of:
– A valid passport or other document which it replaces, designed for traveling abroad and issued by the appropriate authority of the State of nationality or usual place of alien residence or an international organization (hereinafter – the document for traveling abroad);
– A document which gives a foreigner the right to visit the National Park.
On January 9, Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed the decree ‘On the introduction of the visa-free entry and departure for foreign citizens’. The document introduced visa-free entry through the border checkpoint at the Minsk National Airport and the visa-free stay in Belarus for up to 5 days for the citizens of 80 states, including the entire European Union, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan.