Washington issues 'Do not travel' warning for Belarus
The United States issued a warning for nationals not to travel to Belarus on Wednesday, citing arbitrary enforcement of laws, risk of detention and the coronavirus pandemic.
The State Department issued its highest travel advisory warning, "Do Not Travel," or Level 4, two days after Belarusian authorities forced the landing of a plane transiting Belarusian airspace to arrest opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.
The agency also said Belarusian authorities detained tens of thousands of individuals, including American citizens, for alleged affiliations with opposition parties and alleged participation in political demonstrations.
"U.S. citizens in the vicinity of the demonstrations have been arrested," it said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Belarus due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of the virus in the country. "There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Belarus," said the statement.