MINSK, 26 March (BelTA) – The Council of Ministers has introduced measures to prevent the penetration and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Belarus. These measures were formalized by Council of Ministers' Resolution No. 171 as of 25 March 2020, BelTA learned from the press service of the government.
People who arrive in Belarus from the countries where coronavirus cases were reported should observe 14-day self-care at home. They will not be allowed to leave Belarus until the self-isolation period is over.
However, this requirement will not apply to foreign nationals returning home via Belarus. Exceptions will be made for members of diplomatic missions and consular posts of foreign states in Belarus and non-resident staff accredited in other countries, as well as for employees of international organizations and their offices located in Belarus and their family members. Exemption also extends to heads and members of official delegations, interstate drivers, flight crews, crews of inland vessels and train crews.
The list of the countries with confirmed coronavirus cases is available on the official website of the Healthcare Ministry. The rules of conduct for people subject to mandatory self-quarantine is also determined by the ministry. The interaction procedures between government agencies and other organizations enforcing the self-isolation requirement are determined by the Healthcare Ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Committee.
Members of the border service hand in questionnaires compiled by the Healthcare Ministry to arrivals. After the questionnaires are filled in, they are forwarded to public health officials.
Interstate drivers going in transit via Belarus, including from Russia to the EU and Ukraine, should use only the major thoroughfares that have rest areas where drivers can rest, eat and refuel.
Interstate drivers going through Belarus should use the least time track and leave Belarus the next day. This requirement does not apply if a driver experiences a road accident or a vehicle breakdown, or has to perform unloading/transloading operations, or to replace their vehicle provided this is envisaged by their haulage contract and is indicated in transportation documents. In this case drivers are allowed to exit onto other roads. These operations should be done as fast as possible.
Responsibilities of government agencies
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has been tasked to publish maps of major highways, rest areas and filling stations in Russian and English and to distribute them throughout border checkpoints. Billboards depicting the map should be installed at the points of entry. The list of roads and rest areas should also be available on the official website of the ministry.
The State Customs Committee should inform interstate drivers about this requirement at the external border of the Eurasian Economic Union. The Transport Inspectorate of the Ministry of Transport and Communications should do the same at the Belarus-Russia border.
The Healthcare Ministry jointly with regional authorities should make sure that prevention and control measures are properly implemented at rest areas and filling stations. Regional authorities and the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim should take measures to provide the staff of roadside facilities with personal protective equipment (face masks and gloves) and monitor the enforcement of the recommendations of the Healthcare Ministry.
People arriving from at-risk countries and interstate drivers who fail to observe these requirements will be punished by the law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should inform other states about the adoption of this resolution.
The control over the implementation of the resolution should be exercised by the Healthcare Ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Border Committee, the State Customs Committee, Belneftekhim and regional officials in line with their scope of authority.
The document comes into force after its official publication.