Czech Republic Officially Closes Its Borders to Russian Tourists
The Czech Republic’s authorities have announced that starting today, October 25, the country will no longer permit entry for citizens of Russia who wish to reach the country for tourism, sport, and tourism purposes.
Such a measure was approved by the Czech Republic’s government following the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Lipavský, who said that by introducing an entry ban for Russians, the country aims to respond to the current situation in Ukraine, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Minister Lipavský said earlier this month that the entry ban would apply to all nationals of Russia who hold a valid Schengen visa, regardless of the issuing country.
This means that Czechia will not only deny entry to Russians holding a Schengen visa issued by the Czech authorities but also to those who have been issued a visa by any other European Union Member State. Additionally, the Minister explained that apart from tourists, the entry ban will also apply to those who wish to enter the country for sports or culture-related purposes.
“Russian rockets are falling on children’s playgrounds and on people who are simply going to work, up to 200 citizens of the Russian Federation travel to the Czech Republic via the international airport every day. That is why we agreed that entry will be denied to those Russian citizens who come to the Czech territory via the external Schengen borders for the purpose of tourism, sports or culture. This measure will apply to travellers with a valid Schengen visa issued by any EU member state,” Minister Lipavský stated.
Apart from the Czech Republic, several other countries have also completely closed their borders for nationals of Russia, while some others have suspended the issuance of tourist visas.
The list of countries that have also closed their borders to Russians includes Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Similar to Czechia, the above-mentioned countries no longer permit entry for Russian tourists. Commenting on the measures, the ministers of foreign affairs of the Baltic States and Poland said earlier in September that the decision to impose an entry ban for citizens of Russia was taken on the common ground of protecting internal security, public policy, and the overall safety of the Schengen zone.
On the other hand, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Slovakia have only suspended the issuance of Schengen visas for Russians, meaning that some categories of travellers are still permitted to enter these countries.