Although the Belarusian government did not close the country’s borders, the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s subsequent lockdown across the world impacted tourism and travel in the country negatively. However, visitors to the country from a specified 37 countries were required to self-quarantine for 14 days between mid-April and mid-June.
The authorities in Belarus have not introduced any quarantines, lockdowns or movement restrictions, and the country’s borders remain open. The effects of COVID-19 began to be felt in Belarus in mid-March, although local authorities only began to publish official statistics about the number of infected people in April.
COVID-19 will have a severe impact on retail value sales of airlines in Belarus in 2020. Nearly all flights were affected and although airlines were allowed to operate, they were restricted as many other countries’ borders remained closed and most foreign airlines did not sell flights to Belarus until well into the northern hemisphere’s summer months.
In 2020, online booking portals such as Booking.com and Expedia remain largely unchanged and available to consumers, although greater levels of flexibility in terms of booking modifications or cancellations were offered to consumers, often at the expense of operators.
Like most other travel markets, travel in Belarus is expected to be severely impacted by COVID-19 in 2020 and beyond, although the government’s response of not closing borders and putting the country in lockdown will protect the tourism industry somewhat, which means less financial pressure, less downsizing, and fewer permanent outlet closures than companies in many other countries. However, many travel companies in Belarus will suffer from the long-term effects of low demand, impacting travel intermediaries and airlines the most while affecting attractions and lodging and to a lesser extent.
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