Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.
For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Belarus – updated 22 October, 2020: Travelers arriving from countries where COVID-19 cases have been reported (check for the latest updates on the Belarus Government website) must self-isolate for 10 days. Foreign travelers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of arrival. Check to see if you require a visa. Foreign travelers must have valid medical insurance to cover their stay.
Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.
Belarus is generally a safe place for travelers. Violent crimes against travelers are rare, however you should always exercise common sense. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, don't be a hero – hand over whatever it is the perpetrator is asking for, or try to walk away and find a safe place.
The biggest threat to travelers in Belarus is petty theft, particularly on public transport, sleeper trains, and in popular tourist destinations around Minsk.
Another target for thieves in Belarus is European, Japanese and American-made SUV and luxury cars. Car jacking is rare, but car theft and theft of car parts is common here. Again, inconspicuousness is the key: park in secure overnight parking areas, and don't leave valuables on the back seat of the car – hide your belongings in the boot or beneath seats if you absolutely have to keep them in the car.
Following elections held in August 2020, a wave of anti-government protests began after its authoritarian president since 1994, Alexander Lukashenko, claimed to have won an 80% victory. The election outcome was widely contested, and media outlets have reported protestors being detained and injured on the streets. The opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, fled Belarus for her safety a few days after the election.
Belarus is an authoritarian state. Political unrest or dissention is not tolerated, and foreign travelers should stay well away from any political demonstrations, marches or large public gatherings.
In late 2010 a pro-democracy rally in central Minsk was violently dispersed by authorities. Several presidential candidates faced prison terms of up to 15 years for organizing riots and mass disorders.
If you participate in any kind of rally or demonstration, particularly if you are caught holding a banner, expect to be detained. Avoid any political demonstrations at all costs.
While there are strong penalties for possession or use of drugs in Belarus (convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines), there have been reports of drugged travelers by drink spiking in nightclubs. It can be very difficult to tell if your drink has been spiked, so here are a few ways to avoid it:
Prostitution is fairy common in Belarus, and it's not unheard of for sex-workers to try to enter hotels in search of customers. This really only happens at smaller, local hotels.
As of 2020, Belarus is the only country in Europe which still has capital punishment. Execution is the punishment for murder, terrorism, treason, conspiracy and sabotage. If you are arrested for a crime in Belarus, you may not have automatic access to your consular official and you may be summarily expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Terrorist attacks have not occurred in Belarus in recent years, however terrorism can occur anywhere and the threat cannot be ruled out entirely. Before you travel, check your government travel advisory.
Bombings have occurred in 2005, 2008 and 2011. In the 2011 Minsk Metro bombing, 14 people were killed and more than two hundred were injured in an explosion.
Be alert, but not alarmed. Always register your trip with consular officials.
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