This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Belarus set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the Embassy of Belarus to the United Kingdom. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are travelling to Belarus for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Belarus
Entry into the Republic of Belarus through a land border for foreign citizens has been suspended. There is a narrow list of concessions, including for holders of permanent/temporary residency - you should check the State Border Committee website for details. If you fall into one of the concessional categories, you should be aware that checks at the border might take longer than usual. If you plan to enter or exit Belarus by land, we advise you check the travel advice of the relevant neighbouring country, as coronavirus-related restrictions may be put in place at short notice.
Flights continue to operate in and out of Minsk National and regional airports as normal. Please see the “Safety and security section” on latest flight information, including the suspension of the operating permit of Belarusian airline Belavia to fly between the UK and Belarus, meaning there will no longer be any direct flights from Belarus to the UK.
Foreign arrivals above the age of six, without vaccine certification must have a medical PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) certificate showing a negative coronavirus test result, issued no later than 72 hours before entry. This requirement does not apply to holders of permanent or temporary residency in Belarus. Arrivals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate for 7 days or produce a negative PCR test certificate provided the second dose was administered more than 1 but less than 12 months before arrival. You must provide evidence of full vaccination. This should be original or copy of COVID certificate (printed version) either in Belarusian, Russian or English. The certificate should include your full name and date of vaccination. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’).
There are different requirements in place for arrivals from other countries. For example, arrivals from a listed Red Zone country as designated by the Belarusian Ministry of Health must provide a negative PCR test certificate in either Belarusian, Russian or English and self-isolate for 7 days. You should check the specific entry and COVID-19 test requirements set by the Belarusian authorities and your airline in advance of your flight.
You’ll need to have valid medical insurance before travelling to Belarus. You’ll be asked to provide proof of your insurance when you apply for your visa or on arrival at Minsk, Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno and Mogilev airports under the 30 day visa-free regime. Contact the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus for full details of what’s required.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status
Belarus has not yet confirmed that it will accept the UK solutions for demonstrating your COVID vaccination status. You should follow guidance for alternative entry requirements. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination.
There are no separate rules for transiting Belarus, other than the requirements set out below.
There is no need to self-isolate or provide a negative coronavirus test certificate for British nationals who plan to transit Belarus within 24 hours and provide evidence they will exit within this time-frame.
Regular entry requirements
All British national passport holders (except those entering on a diplomatic or official passport) can now enter Belarus for a maximum of 30 days without a visa (the day you arrive counts as day one, regardless of arrival time).
From 17 October 2021, entry and exit under the 30-day visa free regime will be extended to allow British nationals to arrive and depart from Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno and Mogilev airports in addition to Minsk National Airport. On arrival, you’ll need to show documentary evidence of medical insurance to the value of 10,000 euros and funds equivalent to 25 euros per day. This can be in the form of cash, credit card or travellers cheques in any currency.
You should be aware that if you are travelling immediately from or to Russia this visa-free arrangement doesn’t apply and you’ll need a visa. You can find more information at the website of the Belarus embassy.
If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, or plan to enter on a diplomatic or official passport, you’ll need a visa.
You don’t need a visa to transit Belarus by air, but the maximum period you can transit and remain airside is 24 hours. You must get a transit visa in all other circumstances including if you’re travelling by train on popular routes such as Warsaw-Moscow and St Petersburg-Kyiv.
If you attempt to transit Belarus in other circumstances without a visa, the border authorities will send you to Minsk to obtain the appropriate visa. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $300 and face deportation. There is a Belarus Embassy in London.
Since 1 January 2018, it’s possible to visit the areas of Avgustov Canal, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Brest or Grodno for short periods without a visa. More information can be found at Grodno visa free and regulations for foreign citizens visiting the national park. This must be done through a registered tour operator and through assigned border checkpoints. The areas can’t be visited on an independent basis and you aren’t permitted to leave these zones and travel to other cities or regions. Failure to follow these rules could result in a fine and you could face deportation.
The rules and requirements connected to the 30-day visa free regime via Minsk National Airport and the regional airports listed are separate from the 10-day visa free regime in Grodno and Brest. Make sure you check with the nearest Embassy of Belarus before you travel.
If you intend to work as a journalist in Belarus, make sure you receive accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus before you travel and that you’re clearly identifiable at all times.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Belarus.
Travelling between Russia and Belarus
The Russian government has informed the UK government that there are no legal grounds for foreigners (including British nationals) to cross the Russia-Belarus state border. If you’re planning on entering Russia by road, you’ll need to take an alternative route through a different country.
If you’re planning on travelling by rail between the two countries, you should contact your train or tour operator to seek their advice. You should also consider contacting your nearest Russian Embassy for advice on the latest situation for rail travellers.
The UK government isn’t aware of any difficulties for British nationals when travelling by air between the 2 countries, however, you should ensure that you receive an exit stamp in your passport when you leave the Republic of Belarus. If you don’t you will be denied entry on your next visit. Make sure you have all the necessary visas for the duration of your travel to Russia. You can find more information on the Russian Embassy website.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for exiting, entering and transiting through Belarus.
If you travelled into Belarus with a valid Belarusian visa and are leaving on an ETD, you will require an Exit Visa – this can be obtained from the local Immigration Offices (OVIR). The process may take up to three working days. However, this is not applicable for visitors travelling on the visa free regime.
Anyone staying for more than 10 days in Belarus must register. You can register online or with the local police office (OVIR) in the district in which you’re staying. Registration will normally be arranged by your hotel. If you’re not staying in a hotel, registration must be organised by your host. There are fines for not registering in time. If you arrive at the weekend, the earliest you will be able to register is Monday (but offices are only open until 1pm).
Declaration of currency and goods
If you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash or travellers cheques you must complete a currency and goods declaration form on entering and exiting Belarus. This must be stamped by a Customs Officer. Upon exit from Belarus you will not be allowed to take out more currency than you originally declared on the currency declaration form upon entry. You should keep these forms for the duration of your visit. When leaving Belarus you will have to complete a new form, but you should also have the original form to hand. If you do not, your journey may be delayed and you may be fined.
Travelling with children
Children under 16, whose parent or parents hold a Belarusian passport and who aren’t themselves Belarusian passport holders, must have a Belarusian Embassy or Consulate issued travel certificate to travel to Belarus. This is regardless of where they were born or any other nationality they may have. Parents of children entering on this document should liaise with the Belarusian authorities to ensure their children also have the relevant documentation to exit Belarus.