Belarus is working to prolong visa-free stay to 10 days. Chinese tourists may get 30 visa-free days at once, tourism officials said on Monday.
But it looks like it is not going to happen soon.
The prolongation is especially relevant to sports and medical tourists, Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Mikhail Portnoy said at a press-conference on 25 September.
“It was a pilot project (5 visa-free days – note BF), linked to safety. Now, when the system has been tested, we are talking about the prolongation of the stay to 10 days. I hope, it will happen before the European games,” the official said.
According to Mikhail Portnoy, 52,000 tourists have already used the visa-free entry.
He added that in future the visa-free entry for entry would not be limited to the National Airport Minsk only.
Besides, the citizens of China may be allowed 30 days without a visa.
In August, the officials spoke about the increase of the registration period for tourists in Belarus from 5 to 10 days. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, this can be expected by the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.
However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs insisted that the matter had been in the air for a long time and wasn’t linked to the introduction of 5 visa-free days in the beginning of 2017.
In 2016, Belarus allowed foreigners visa-free visits to the Augustow Canal and part of Grodno region, in 2015 – to Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
According to Belstat, last year Belarus welcomed 217,398 tourists. The biggest share of them came from Russia (171,100), followed by Poland (7,992) and Lithuania (5,846). The officials statistics counts only the organized tourists.