How will French state of emergency affect Belarusian tourists?


How will French state of emergency affect Belarusian tourists?

What has changed for Belarusians who decide to visit Paris? And how does the Belarusian embassy respond to changes in the situation in France?  The French parliament has passed a law on state of emergency in the country until the end of February!

Several Islamist attacks struck the capital of France on November 13. The result is more than 100 dead and over 300 wounded. The country has imposed a state of emergency. For the first time in the last 10 years.

Pavel Latushko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the French Republic:
The French Parliament decided to extend the state of emergency in the country until the end of February. What does this mean? This means greater powers for law enforcement bodies. The ability to carry out arrests and detentions without decisions of legal authorities. The ability to arrest during the night. The ability to limit contacts of the potentially suspected with criminal groups, with the outside world. Limiting the work of Internet resources, social networks, which may be associated with terrorist organizations. The ban on holding public events. All this is connected with what happened in the last few days in France. And all of this is aimed at limiting the potential threat of terrorism in the country.

Now the French capital is returning back to usual life. The first shock is behind.

What happened united the nation and the country's leadership has received tremendous support from the people. It has become popular for the first time since the 2012 elections.

Pavel Lavrov, reporter:
Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Every year, it attracts tens of millions of people. And every year the numbers increase. In recent years, France has become increasingly attractive for Belarusian tourists.

Vladimir and Irina flew to Paris the day after the tragic events of November 13.

Vladimir and Irina, tourists from Minsk:
We flew through Vilnius. In Vilnius it was all as usual. We were inspected. But on arrival in France we were surprised by soldiers with machine guns. But there was no inspection at the airport, only passport control.

The Belarusian diplomatic mission emphasized that although France actually closed the border, special entry rules have not been introduced. However, additional precautions were still taken.

Pavel Latushko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the French Republic:
To date, the French authorities have not informed us about changes in the rules of stay of citizens of Belarus in France. The still need to have a Schengen visa. However, you must take into account that at the entrance to the territory of France, you may be subject to additional control, including interview, to clarify the purpose of your stay in France, where you are staying, the availability of funds for the stay in the country and health insurance. If you have all the necessary documents, there should be no problems with a visit to that country.
By the way, there are specific examples. Just today, one of our citizens, leaving France forgot his luggage at the Charles de Gaulle airport.  It is necessary to take into account that the airport authorities have the right to fine any citizen who forget their luggage; the fine is about 450 euros.

Vladimir and Irina, tourists from Minsk:
This is hardly call the state of siege, but in the most visited places you can still see police with guns.
At the entrance to shops and shopping centers police thoroughly inspect your bags.They ask to unbutton jackets. That is probably all. And in general it is quite calm.

According to tourists, the number of visitors to cafes, bars and restaurants in the evening has significantly decreased.  But the city itself remained as charming as ever.

Vladimir and Irina, tourists from Minsk:
We were never stopped and no one asked for our passports.
Probably, it was particularly surprising. I was expecting checks in the subway. But in the subway, I did not see anyone checking people.

At present, everyone agrees that only together can one defeat terrorism, the main threat of the 21st century. The main thing is not to give in to fear, panic and despondency.