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The Belarusian authorities are closing land borders, effectively banning most of own citizens, as well as permanent and temporary residents, from crossing out, citing the fight against the COVID-19 spread.

The decision is fixed in the Decree of the Council of Ministers of December 7, posted on the National Legal Internet Portal, DW reports.

The restriction will enter into force 10 days after it was signed.

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The ban will be enforced at road, railway, and river checkpoints, thus leaving airports the only available option for those seeking to leave country.

Read alsoLukashenko ready to allow Russia to annex Belarus – ex-officialAt the same time, restrictions do not apply to holders of diplomatic and service passports, official delegations, drivers of international road transport, aircraft, ship, and train crews, business travelers, as well as transiting persons.

Belarusian citizens holding a residence permit or an employment contract in another country, as well as those who intend to leave the country for "valid" reasons (including visiting a serious illness or death of a close relative or spouse who are abroad, getting medical care or education) will be allowed to cross out, the decree adds.

At the same time, leaving the country with a foreign residence permit, as well as for study or employment, will be allowed no more than once every six months.

Restrictions on entry to Belarus for Ukrainians

On October 29, the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus restricted entry from Ukraine, formally in connection with COVID-19.

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine has confirmed the report.

According to information from the State Border Guard Service, the restrictions do not apply to persons crossing the border holding diplomatic or service passports, as well as drivers of freight vehicles engaged in international transport, and train crews.