Russia's favorite country of cheap beer has banned the entry of Russians with a Schengen visa

Russians' favorite country of cheap beer banned entry of Russians with Schengen

From October 25, the Czech Republic will join the anti-Russian bloc of states that have banned Russian tourists from entering their territory. The country will close entry to Russians with a valid Schengen visa issued by any member state of the European Union. Although some exceptions are provided.

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky announced this measure in his official statement. According to him, from October 25, Russians who travel to the Czech Republic for the purpose of tourism, sports or culture will be denied entry. Moreover, this will affect tourists with a valid Schengen visa, no matter which EU country issues it. At the same time, the measure will primarily affect those who arrive through the external borders of the Schengen zone – i.e. international airports.

At the same time, the minister assured that at least 200 Russian citizens arrive in the country by air every day. They mainly fly into the country from non-EU countries and enter on visas issued by other EU countries. Basically, we are talking about getting to the Czech Republic through Istanbul and Belgrade. It is they who will finally block the road.

The entry ban will be implemented by the Czech Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the country's Ministry of the Interior. How this will happen, explained Interior Minister Vit Rakusan. “If a citizen of the Russian Federation arrives in the Czech Republic from the external border of the Schengen zone, he must leave back to his country of origin. Or he can leave the airport without entering the territory of the Czech Republic, going to another country. But this citizen should not remain on the territory of the Czech Republic,” he said. He also added that the police have all the instructions in this regard.

At the same time, politicians listed exceptions – Russians entering the country with business, medical and other visas will be allowed. Also, the ban will not affect those who have a residence permit in the Czech Republic or in another EU country.

Russian tour operators explained to tourists through ATOR that the Czech Republic itself, as it closed for covid in 2020, did not open for tourists. For both Russian and Belarusian citizens, visas were issued only to family members of a citizen of the Czech Republic or the EU, as well as “if there is evidence of a trip in the interests of the Czech Republic.” Although, according to tour operators, a small number of Russians still booked hotels in the Czech Republic for personal or business purposes, there were separate applications for tours and treatment in Karlovy Vary.

“We have requests for autumn, but most of them comes from tourists who have a residence permit in other EU countries,” ATOR was told, for example, in the Russian Express tour operator company. In total, according to the statistics presented, for 6 months of 2022, about 12.6 thousand Russians “leaked” into the Czech Republic. In 2019, for comparison, their number was 525 thousand.

At the same time, tour operators warned that from October 25, Russians flying to the Czech Republic from non-Schengen countries, for example, from Istanbul, may not be allowed on a flight to Prague. The reason is that if a tourist is “sentenced” for deportation, the cost of returning him is borne by the airline, and the carrier will face a serious fine. “It is up to the airline to clarify the purpose of the trip. It is not clear from the visa whether it is a tourist visa, or the tourist has other good reasons for visiting the country, for which the ban was not introduced. Therefore, they may be allowed on a flight to the Czech Republic. But in this case, the tourist will have to answer questions about the purpose of the trip already at the border control in the Czech Republic. If these purposes do not fall under the exceptions, the tourist will be deployed and will be required to leave the country immediately,” the PAKS company said. At the same time, from the Schengen countries – for example, from Germany and France, where there is no border control, a tourist may risk getting to the Czech Republic, but how this will be controlled in practice is still unclear.

At the same time, experts recalled the incident when Ryanair refused to transport Russians who had air tickets from EU countries to Finland and the Baltic countries. Whether this practice will spread to routes to the Czech Republic is also not yet clear. The option of land access from an EU country in a rented car or regular bus is also still in question – but tour operators' clients have had experience traveling from Austria and Germany. So far, “uncontrolled”.

For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The Russians called houseplants that improve brain function.”

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