Health Update – U.S. Embassy Minsk, Belarus (December 21, 2020)

Updated December 21, 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.

Beginning May 18, 2020, U.S. Embassy Minsk will reduce the frequency of these health alerts from daily to weekly unless circumstances warrant.  If you have questions or concerns, please email us at ConsularMinsk@state.gov.  Information updated since the last message will be in bold and prefaced with (NEW)

Location:  Belarus

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 December 21, 2020, the Belarus Ministry of Health reported there are 175.416  registered cases of COVID-19 in Belarus; 152,930 patients have recovered, and 1,333 individuals have died. According to the Ministry of Health, Belarus has conducted over 3,749,000 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

As of December 21, 2020, Belavia is operating out of Minsk National Airport with connections to the United States via the following cities:

Amsterdam

Belgrade

Frankfurt

Istanbul

London

Paris

Warsaw

Travel requirements and restrictions often change. Please view the U.S. Embassy COVID-19 page for any country you plan to travel through.  In particular, if you are transiting Paris or London, these are important pages to view.  Please be aware that the connection through London requires changing airports, from Gatwick Airport to Heathrow Airport.

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 25, 2020, Belarus instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine requirement for persons entering Belarus from countries where the COVID-19 virus is actively circulating.   On June 25, 2020 Belarus removed the United States from its list of countries where the COVID-19  virus is actively circulating.  Travelers arriving in Belarus from the United States are no longer subject to the self-quarantine requirement.  

As of April 10, close contacts of persons who test positive for the COVID-19 virus are required to self-quarantine for 14-days. Details of Belarus’ quarantine requirements  can be found in Russian on the website of the Belarus Council of Ministers. The quarantine requirement does not apply to travelers transporting cargo, air crew, or diplomats. Visit the website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus for additional information on these  measures.

The Ministry of Health provides Russian language updates on its telegram channel at: https://web.telegram.org/#/im?p=@minzdravbelarus and via the Ministry COVID-19 site:  stopcovid.belta.by

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.

Local Resources:

Other links: