Foreign offices are one of the best sources to know what image your country has abroad. BelarusFeed checked out their websites and came across both sensible and surprising travel advice when in Belarus.
Don’t eat dairy and mushrooms, avoid horses on the road and brides on the internet.
Apart from trivial info about safety and security, entry requirements, local laws, and customs, one may find that most of the foreign offices draw attention to the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, drink driving and serious punishment for drug crimes.
Austrian foreign office portrays Belarus pretty neutrally with a focus on safety issues, specifically warning its citizens not to take part in demonstrations and always keep an eye on vital docs.
Among other curious remarks are that homosexual acts between adults acts are okay but mind the age of consent when in Belarus.
When in Belarus, remember that Big Brother is always watching (and listening) attentively. This is what Canadians particularly specify in general safety info section.
Also, accepting food and drinks from strangers is not a good idea, the website notes the fit-for-all countries rule.
French authorities are worried about industrial and natural risks the citizens of their country may face when in Belarus.
These include extreme winter temperatures, heavy rains, and chemical pollution consequences.
Among other odd recommendations are to refrain from taking photos in libraries and museums. We have no comment on this matter.
Looks like French tourists love to admire the beauty of Belarus from above, as another interesting safety remark concerns the usage of drones, particularly the spots where it is not allowed.
German MFA has extensive instructions on travel, safety and crime regulations. It repeatedly underlines the difference in the legislation between Belarusian and EU laws.
While stressing low crime rate in the country it warns about pickpocketing and car thefts “especially after dark, in train traffic and sleeping cars.”
Smoking and alcohol consumption in public places is given special attention too. Obviously, detailed info on the scale of fines and potential punishment should discourage from breaking the law.
Unless you have €80 or a desire to turn into a pedestrian for about three years.
Great Britain 🇬🇧
British Gov.uk feels its necessary to let their tourists know that taking photos in Belarus is not as safe as it might seem at the first glance.
As colleagues in other offices, they also report unpredictable driving and remind about peculiar weather conditions in winter. Horse and carriage transport in Belarus is something to be cautious off too, they believe.
Want to try some local food? Not so fast, remember about Chernobyl and its effects on shrooms, berries and (suddenly!) dairy products.
Unlike other foreign offices that didn’t access the state of Belarus’ civil aviation and its carriers, the Portuguese point out that planes in Belarus are not so modern and leave much to be desired.
Also, despite the country’s reputation of one of the safest in the region, tourists are adviced not to wander around the outskirts of the city, especially after nightfall.
Surprisingly, accommodation outside city centers was harshly criticized too.
The Spanish office cares about its citizens abroad and recall that drug trafficking is not tolerated in Belarus and can leave a foreigner involved in such activities in jail for up to 8 years.
One of the most common advice given is to refrain from taking photos of military buildings, drinking tap water and eating foodstuffs from Brest and Gomel. Spain is not an exception.
The office in Sweden feels that their citizens might be concerned about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and reassure that it doesn’t affect the situation in Belarus in any way.
For foreigners who don’t have such kind of laws in their countries, this may come as a surprise but drinking and smoking is prohibited in public places. This is what you have to bear in mind when you’re here.
Public transport in Belarus is not disabled-friendly and doesn’t correspond to Sweden standards.
United States 🇺🇸
While describing Belarus as a moderate country where normal precautions should be taken, the US office proposes to take into account intolerance and discrimination of LGBT people, recalling harassment cases in the past.
Medical services are a way below than those in the U.S., states Department of States. We wonder what a person planning a trip to Belarus should do with that kind of information.
Internet dating and cyber-crimes also got on the list of potential hazards an American may face in Belarus.
What about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country? What does it say about Belarus or warn about traveling here?
Featured image: TASS/Barcroft
*Note that BelarusFeed used Google Translate to translate some of the recommendations, so some errors are not ruled out.