Minsk imposes a temporary ban on exiting the country through land berder checkpoints for citizens and permanent residence card holders, the Council of Ministers’ resolution of December, 7 reads.
It is published on the national legal web portal pravo.by. The ban is to take effect ten days after the publication. According to official information, the measure is being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Although departure of citizens through land checkpoints is temporarily restricted, the ban does not apply to Minsk National Airport; one still has the opportunity to fly out of Belarus.
Persons who study abroad or have another country’s residence card will be allowed to leave the country no more than once in six months.
The new rules also impose restrictions on foreigners arriving in Belarus. They will have to show a certificate confirming the negative result of a lab test for COVID-19. The PCR test must be done no later than three days before the date of crossing the border.
From November 1, our country temporarily suspended entry border crossing for foreign citizens and stateless persons.
When COVID-19 started to spread in Europe, Alyaksandr Lukashenka repeatedly hit the international headlines due his careless attitude to the outbreak. In mid March, he shared with the newly appointed officials his own ways of fighting infections, including the novel coronavirus. He advised going to a dry sauna, claiming that the virus dies at 60 degrees; more frequent handwashing, regular diet, and… drinking some vodka are also on his list. Later, he called the situation ‘psychosis and foolishness’.
Even on the back of the increasing infection rate, the Belarusian authorities did not introduce any quarantine measures in the spring of 2020. Lukashenka claimed that imposing a nationwide lockdown would not improve the situation in Belarus. In his opinion, such steps might deal a crippling blow to the daily life of the nation. Although the Belarusian leader admitted that the recommendations by the WHO should be studied in detail, he stressed the country would run its own course.
However, amid post-election protests, Alyaksandr Lukashenka repeatedly warned about the threat of war and said that Belarus would have to close the border with the West.