Updated May 4, 2020
Link to Embassy Minsk COVID-19 Alerts
(Note – NEW information is in bold)
The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19.
U.S. Embassy Minsk will be sending frequent updates to ensure all U.S. citizens in Belarus have the latest information about COVID19 and local conditions. Information updated within the last 24 hours will be in bold and prefaced with (NEW).
Event: International commercial flight options currently exist in Belarus. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Belarus at this time.
Embassy Minsk is reaching out to American citizens in Belarus to ascertain their plans for returning to the United States or remaining in Belarus. If you are an American citizen in Belarus, please contact us at ConsularMinsk@state.gov to let us know if you plan to remain in Belarus for the foreseeable future or if you are actively seeking to return to the United States.
(NEW) On May 4, 2020, the Belarus Ministry of Health reported there are 17,489 registered cases of COVID-19 in Belarus; 3,259 patients have recovered, and 103 individuals have died. The Ministry has not provided a cumulative total of recovered patients, so the total number of COVID-19 infections in Belarus to date is unknown. According to the Ministry of Health, Belarus has conducted over 211,000 tests since January 23. Updated information is available on the Ministry’s new COVID-19 website: stopcovid.belta.by . Belarus reported its first case February 28.
On April 8, 2020, the Minsk City Executive Committee introduced new social distancing guidelines for businesses and public institutions in Minsk, Including:
- Restaurants and cafes must place tables at least 1.5 meters apart.
- Hotels must ensure guests take their temperature daily.
- Employers must prohibit sick employees from working.
- Library reading rooms are closed to the public
- Large events in museums have been cancelled.
- Hairdressers and beauty salons must work by appointment only, with a minimum five-minute interval between clients.
- Churches and other religious institutions must ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of public areas.
The full list of measures in Russian is available in Russian on the website of the Minsk City Executive committee. For other cities, please check the website of your local city executive committee.
Travel options from Minsk to the United States are limited but are still available. While there are still daily flights available from Minsk to airports in the EU and UK with connections to the United States, U.S. Citizens currently in Belarus who wish to return to the United States should arrange for immediate departure to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain in Belarus for an indefinite period. Please note, Abu Dhabi and Istanbul are no longer options for flying to the United States.
As of May 4, 2020, Belavia is operating out of Minsk International Airport with connections to the United States via the following cities:
Belavia is resuming flights to Rome, which offers direct connections to the United States. This does involve a baggage re-check and a lengthy layover. Also, please be aware that the connection through London requires changing airports, from Gatwick Airport to Heathrow Airport. Flight connections to the United States via Warsaw had been scheduled to resume the week of April 27, 2020. However, due to Polish government extending the cancellation of all air services in Poland through May 9, 2020, the earliest flights will resume will be May 16, 2020. Additionally, flights to Vienna are resuming. While there is no direct connection from Vienna to the United States, there may be available itineraries that transit other airports.
We recommend you book your flight using a travel agency to ensure that you are ticketed through to your final destination in the United States. Transit via the airports in Amsterdam, London, Paris and Frankfurt is permitted, but you may not leave airport transit zone. If you are not ticketed through to the United States, you will not be boarded in Minsk.
U.S. citizens may travel from Europe to the United States following CDC guidelines. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Prior to leaving Belarus, travelers are encouraged to confirm that their connecting flight is still scheduled. Additionally, connecting airports are not allowing passengers to leave the transit area, so travelers are encouraged to pack and plan accordingly.
The Government of Belarus has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. Travelers arriving in Belarus should be prepared for temperature checks at airports. On March 26, 2020, Belarus instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine requirement for persons entering Belarus from countries where the COVID-19 virus is actively circulating. The quarantine requirement does not apply to transit passengers, travelers transporting cargo, air crew, or diplomats. As of April 10, this self-quarantine requirement also applies to close contacts of persons who test positive for the COVID-19 virus. The details of the requirement can be found in Russian on the website of the Belarus Council of Ministers. Visit the website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus for additional information on these measures.
Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on travel restrictions as well as the website of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus which has current information about the status of Belarusian border controls.
For information on the recent Presidential Proclamations on travel, see the Department of State’s Frequently Asked Questions page. For information on arriving in the U.S., please refer to the Department of Homeland Security’s webpage.
Actions to Take:
Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
Ensure you have sufficient food, prescriptions, and other essential items in your home in the event you need to self-quarantine.
Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
As of April 7, 2020, the Government of Belarus has implemented social distancing measures in Minsk. Please check your local authorities for city-specific guidelines for your locality. This link contains the full list of measures (https://minsk.gov.by/ru/news/new/2020/04/08/704/).
Entry and Exit Requirements:
Due to global travel restrictions, the Government of Belarus has extended the duration of stay for visa free travelers in Belarus from 30 days to 90 days. If needed, an additional 90 extension may be granted.
Exit visas can be obtained at the Minsk International Airport, if a traveler’s flight has been unexpectedly canceled or changed. There are currently no travel restrictions in place as a result of the worldwide outbreak.
Temperature screening measures are in place at Minsk National Airport.
Neighboring countries (Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia) have closed their land borders to foreigners with limited exceptions for cargo transport and diplomatic travelers.
No plans for border closures in Belarus have been announced, but all travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. The website of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus will have current information about the status of Belarusian border controls.
The Ministry of Health asks all travelers entering Belarus to inform border control officials if they have visited countries where COVID-19 is circulating actively. Those arriving from countries where the virus is active are encouraged to undergo testing at the airport.