World on lockdown: countries close borders and impose quarantines due to coronavirus
On Monday, March 16, several countries announced the closure of borders and the introduction of quarantines due to the spread of the coronavirus. Russia has closed the border with Belarus. Of the 14 land borders of Russia, only two remain open — with Azerbaijan and Finland.
Russia has closed the border with Belarus since March 16. Previously almost all of Russia’s land borders were closed: with Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and the DPRK. In addition, Russia has banned citizens of Italy, Iran, South Korea and China from entering the country.
Russia also restricts flights to EU countries, Switzerland and Norway from March 16. Several regular flights to the capitals of the European Union, Geneva and Oslo will continue to operate from terminal F of Sheremetyevo airport. Also, the restrictions will not affect air traffic with the UK.
Since March 17, Ukraine has been closing checkpoints across the state border for 2 weeks. All Ukrainian citizens are asked to return to the country before this time. The country is under quarantine from March 12 to April 3.
Lithuania closes its borders on March 16. In addition, the country is being quarantined, which will last from March 16 to 30. Only Lithuanian citizens are allowed to enter the country. Residents of foreign countries will be able to transit the country to return to their home countries within three days. The last foreigners will be allowed into Lithuania until midnight on March 19.
Estonia closes its borders on March 17. The country is being quarantined until may 1, 2020.
Latvia also decided to close the country’s borders from March 17 to April 14. Exceptions will be made for foreigners leaving Latvia and for Latvian citizens returning home. In addition, the country has been quarantined until April 14.
Kazakhstan has completely closed the border. Restrictions do not apply only to citizens of Kazakhstan returning to their homeland, diplomats, foreigners leaving the country, as well as those who have a residence permit and members of Kazakh families. The country has introduced an emergency mode from March 16 to April 15.
Uzbekistan has been closing its borders and switching to a quarantine regime since March 16. Citizens are temporarily prohibited from leaving the country, and foreigners are prohibited from visiting it. Citizens of Uzbekistan who are abroad will be urgently returned home by special and Charter flights.
Georgia completely closes the border for foreigners from March 18 for two weeks. Entry will be allowed to citizens returning to their homeland.
Armenia and Russia suspend air traffic for two weeks. At the same time, Armenian citizens can return to the country, and Russians can go home. Armenia has been imposing a state of emergency throughout the country since March 16.
Greece has imposed a two-week quarantine for those entering the country since March 16.
The US has closed entry to the country for EU and UK citizens for 30 days since March 13. American citizens will only be able to return to the United States after passing a coronavirus test. Donald trump announced on March 13 the introduction of a state of emergency in the United States.
The Czech Republic has banned citizens from leaving the country since March 16 and closed entry for foreigners. The country’s authorities have imposed a nationwide quarantine that will last until March 24.
Poland closes the border from March 15 for 10 days, but the measure may be extended depending on the development of the situation.
Germany has been closing its borders with Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark since March 16. German citizens can return to the country.
Austria included Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in the list of countries with a poor epidemiological situation and closed the entry of citizens of these States. Air traffic with the countries stops from March 16. Earlier, Austria closed its borders with neighboring Italy and Switzerland.
Cyprus closes entry for foreigners for 15 days from March 15. Citizens of Cyprus, the EU or third countries who legally reside or work on the territory of the country, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, students of Cypriot universities and those who carry out important business trips can still cross the border.
Since March 13, Slovakia has banned entry to its territory for all foreign citizens without permanent residence or residence permit in this country.
Denmark has closed the border to foreigners since March 14. The Danes can return to the country.
Italy is closed for quarantine from March 10, at least until April 3.
Spain has imposed a nationwide quarantine for 15 days until March 29.
France is reducing air and rail flights within the country and abroad. The French were urged to reduce their movements as much as possible. Schools, universities, museums, restaurants and other public places are being closed in the country.
The UK will send all people over the age of 70 to quarantine for a long time. These measures will apply throughout the country, except for Scotland.
South Korea has introduced a special border screening procedure for those arriving by flights from European countries, and is also preparing to tighten entry for all countries of the world without exception.
China has eased the quarantine in Hubei province, partially lifted the ban on movement, public transport will start operating in some areas, and major businesses will be restored. However, it is not allowed to leave the province yet.
Argentina has been closing its borders for 15 days since March 16. The restriction will apply to the entry of foreigners into the country and will not affect Argentines and holders of a residence permit. However, the exit from the country remains open.
India has suspended all tourist visas for foreigners since March 13. The restriction will last until April 15.
North Korea was one of the first countries to close its borders. The country’s authorities have said they will not open borders to foreigners until a vaccine is invented.