Belarus and China signed an intergovernmental agreement on mutual visa-free entry for ordinary sitizens in Qingdao on 10 June. Belarus has thus become one of the first European countries to establish visa-free travel with China.
Earlier, the Chinese citizens paid $30 for a single entry visa to Belarus. The cost of a multiple annual Chinese visa for Belarusians was $90.
The document was concluded following the negotiations between the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and the President of China Xi Jinping.
According to experts, mutual abolition of visas will open new opportunities for cooperation not only in tourism, but also in trade, culture, education and other fields. The parties also signed a number of cooperation documents in other areas. In particular, an intergovernmental agreement on technical and economic assistance was concluded.
In 2017, more than 3.2 thousand Chinese tourists visited Belarus. Visa-free regime for organized tourist groups from China has been in force for several years. The Chinese can also take advantage of a five-day visa-free regime in Belarus.
Belarusian official have repeatedly stated that the country is interested in the inflow of visitors from the East. The two countries are actively developing business projects with the construction of the Great Stone industrial park underway.
On 9 June, Minsk National Airport and Finnair Airlines have opened the year-round direct flights from Helsinki to Minsk.
With five flights a week, it will become even more comfortable for tourists to travel to Belarus.
According to the National Airport, the plane takes off from the Finland’s capital at 9.45 am and arrives in Minsk at 11.00 am. The return flight is planned at 11.45 am with the arrival at 13.00 pm at the airport Helsinki-Vantaa. The whole journey takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The cost for a round-trip ticket starts from €256 in June (fees included) and from €174 in fall.
Plans to launch a direct flight between Minsk and Helsinki were announced back in February. Until now, only Belavia was operating the route on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The flight schedule was drawn up to meet the needs of all passengers. So, Minsk Airport will become a convenient spot for both the transit passengers who travel through Belarus to Europe, Asia or America and the passengers flying directly from Helsinki to Minsk.
More than 150,000 foreign fans are expected to travel through Belarus for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
No visa needed.
The Belarus-Russia temporary agreement on visa recognition during the 2018 FIFA World Cupcame into force on 1 June.
It means that foreign fans can enter, transit, and stay in Belarus and Russia without visas, given they have Fan IDs and active passport.
Up to 1.5 million foreigners have bought the tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far. More than 10% of travelers will transit via Belarusian cities.
Many of them will highly likely spend some time here to explore tourist attractions.
In line with the agreement, foreign fans will be able to cross the Russia-Belarus joint border using three highway and three railway routes.
It is allowed to travel from Belarus to Russia and vice versa by air. The agreement will partially apply to drivers of vehicles transporting fans.
Belarusian law enforcement bodies are ready to ensure security and comfortable stay of foreign guests.
The interior ministries of Belarus and Russia set up working groups to promptly address issues if any occur.
Transport police of the two countries as well as border guards will do their best to ensure fast movement of fans.
Mind that the visa-free entry regime based on the Fan ID will be only possible from 4 June through 25 July.