Belarus has closed entry through its land borders with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine, reports the website Onliner.by. The decision was not announced in advance.
Complaints about being unable to get into the country began appearing on social media around mid-day on Thursday, October 29. With regard to EU member states Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, Belarus is refusing entry not only to foreign nationals but also to its own citizens returning from these countries. After spending several hours delayed at the border, Belarusian citizens coming from Ukraine were allowed into the country.
A few hours later, the Belarusian State Border Committee confirmed officially that entry into the country through checkpoints at the borders with these four countries has been closed “in connection with the current epidemiological situation.” The border service underscored that the Minsk airport continues to operate as per usual and you can still enter Belarus from Europe by plane.
Departure from Belarus remains uninhibited.
On September 17, Alexander Lukashenko stated that Belarus was being “forced to close the state border with the West,” due to the unfriendly actions of Poland and Lithuania during the political crisis that followed the contested presidential elections on August 9. The next day, the Belarusian State Border Committee clarified that the country was only planning to strengthen border controls.
This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that Belarus has limited movement across its borders in any way.