Commentary to Decree No. 462 of 26 December 2017
The visa-free travel time for foreign citizens will be extended up to ten days in several areas in Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast as from 1 January. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed relevant Decree No. 462 on 26 December.
In line with the document the number of border checkpoints will be increased in Brest Oblast and the city, in Grodno Oblast and the city via the checkpoints located at railway terminals and in airports in order to allow more foreign tourists to enter Belarus and stay here without visas. Foreign citizens will be able to stay in Belarus without visas for ten days for the purposes of tourism. The areas where tourists are allowed to stay without visas will be expanded.
Foreign tourists, who come to see the AugustowCanalPark, will be able to stay without visas in the entire Grodno District and the city. Visitors attracted by the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be able to travel to the tourism and recreation zone Brest (Brest city, Brest District, Zhabinka District, Kamenets District, and Pruzhany District in Brest Oblast and Svisloch District in Grodno Oblast) without visas. In order to visit the Augustow Canal or the tourism and recreation zone Brest foreign citizens need to bring a document valid for travels abroad and a document, which allows visiting the specified territory individually or as a group. The new rules will apply to citizens of 77 countries.
The document is meant to enable more effective usage of tourism infrastructure in Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast in addition to further advancing transboundary cooperation. The decree will come into force on 1 January 2018. The decree’s implementation is expected to increase tourist traffic and the export of tourism services by 30%.
At present in line with presidential decrees No.115 of 9 March 2015 and No.318 of 23 August 2016 the visa-free travel option is available in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for up to 72 hours and in the AugustowCanal and its surrounding areas for up to five days.