Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Belarus maintains restrictions related to COVID-19 indefinitely. Mandatory 14-day self isolation for most travelers entering the country.

This alert affects Belarus

This alert began 11 Apr 2020 19:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Belarus authorities are maintaining transport and business restrictions indefinitely in order to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus as of April 11. Authorities have imposed a mandatory 14-day self isolation for travelers from countries where COVID-19 is actively circulating and for those who have had close contact with persons who test positive for the virus; freight transporters, aircrew, and diplomats are exempt.

Compared to COVID-19 related restrictions in many other countries, authorities in Minsk have applied more lenient social distancing regulations, thereby keeping most businesses open. The following regulations were passed on April 8:

  • Restaurants and cafes are obliged to place tables at least 1.5 meters apart.
  • Hotels must instruct guests to take their temperatures daily.
  • Employers must ensure that sick employees do not go to work.


Airports in the country remain open, but operate with a reduced flight schedule. Further restrictions are possible on short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government are more lenient than measures taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Ministry of Health list of countries where COVID-19 is cirulcating: minzdrav.gov.by

COVID-19 Information Line Belarus - +375 (29) 156-85-65

World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int