A traveler is waiting for a passport and visa check. Photography: Sergei Gapon/UNDP Belarus

COVID-19 resulted in unprecedented restrictions to the free movement of people across the world. Massive lockdown measures, the reimposing hard inner frontiers and shutting external borders have isolated and divided Europeans, and resulted in catastrophic consequences for tourism, transportation, sports and leisure industries.

Meanwhile, Belarus appeared to be there is the only country in Europe that didn’t close its borders for business and even leisure travelers and kept its international airports and surface border crossing points open and fully operational amid the outbreak.

The country’s border check points continue operate keeping cross-border transport of supplies going and welcoming rare travelers. The people working on the border crossing points needs help and protection to stay away from the infection that recognize no borders.

Border guards wearing personal protective equipment are performing a facial recognition check of a visitor who came to Belarus from Turkey.

In partnership with the Government of Germany UNDP has moved quickly to step into ensuring the external borders of Belarus remain a safe place for uninterrupted cargo and people flow.

60,000 disposable medical masks, 2,000 liters of disinfectant and 1,500 liters of liquid antibacterial soap were procured with the support from Germany and donated by UNDP to the State Border Committee of Belarus.

Travelers queue up for passport and visa check at the border crossing point at the Minsk International Airport.

The protective equipment and liquids have been delivered to all border-crossing points, including the Minsk International Airport where the flow of visitors have intensified after some countries resumed air flights to and from Belarus. From the beginning of 2020 till 01 July 655,000 people used the airport to cross the border.

The border guards are monitoring body temperature of arrivals using thermovision device.
Thermovision is now a regular part of the border-crossing processes.

The personal protective equipment and sanitizing liquids help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the border guards and travelers crossing the border at official checkpoints, thus potentially reduces the load on the health care facilities in Belarus.

UNDP-Germany joint COVID-19 response goes far beyond donation of critical personal protective equipment and sanitizers to the Belarusian border guards and offers a first look into the border management in the post-pandemic world. This partnership showcases a strong need for border and customs services to pay more attention to sanitary and health issues along with aspects related to security and trade.

The joint UNDP-State Border Committee project "Strengthening Capacity of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus in Combatting Illicit Trafficking of Weapons and Ammunition" is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany. The two-year programme with a total budget of over US$1.5 million aims to provide expert and technical support to the Belarusian border guards in risk analysis, border control and training of border personnel.

UNDP and Germany help the Belarusian border guards keep the state borders open and safe amid COVID-19

UNDP and Germany offer the Belarusian border guards a first look into the border management in the post-pandemic world. This partnership showcases a strong need for border and customs services to pay more attention to sanitary and health issues along with aspects related to security and trade. #PartnersAtCore
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