Updated at 20:51,24-11-2020

Terms of visa-free entry to Ice Hockey Championship in Belarus


Foreign fans should not lose their hockey tickets and will need to register at the Citizenship and Migration Department.

Hockey fans will not need a visa to enter Belarus during the World Ice Hockey Championship. They will only need to show their hockey tickets at the border. However, they should not show them to anyone else, head of the press service of the Border Committee Alyaksandr Tsishchanka said.

Alyaksandr Tsishchanka: There is a data base for all the tickets. Each ticket has its own unique code. You show us the code and there are no problems. However, if someone else shows us the same code afterwards, they will not be allowed to enter the country. That is why people should keep their codes a secret.

Hockey fans should keep their tickets until the end – they will also need to show them to frontier guards on leaving Belarus. What will happen if you lose your ticket? Won’t they let you out?

Alyaksandr Tsishchanka: It will still be indicated that you came to the country with your ticket. Anything can happen, people lose things. We will try to avoid incidents. A lost ticket will only mean that the registration will be slower as it will need to be checked in the ticket data base.

There will be no other demands at the border. However, if foreign fans decide to rent a flat or stay at their friends’ instead of hotels, they will need to register at the Citizenship and Migration Department, head of the Department Alyaksei Byahun noted.

Alyaksei Byahun: If they do not stay in a hotel, they will have to register in Belarus within 5 workdays.

However, if they forget to do it, they will not be punished.

Alyaksei Byahun: I do not think anyone will punish foreign fans if they do not register.

Foreign journalist will not need visas for the championship either. They will not even need to be accredited in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will only have to get accreditation in the International Ice Hockey Federation in advance, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Vanshyna said. However, there are certain terms too.

Maria Vanshyna: Journalists planning to cover the championship will need to be accredited in the International Ice Hockey Federation.

It means that journalists planning to cover other events on top of the hockey championship will need to be accredited in the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A number of Finnish journalists threaten to boycott Ice Hockey Championship in Minsk in connection with it. The TV company YLE and editions Helsingin Sanomat and Ilta Sanomat "will not fulfill the terms set by the Belarusian organizers", they claimed. They consider it a restriction of their right for the freedom of speech. Nevertheless, the term is based on the President’s decree #477 signed in October.