Russia closes its land borders with Poland and Norway for foreigners

Russia will close its land borders with Poland and Norway for foreign citizens starting at midnight Sunday to try to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, the Russian prime minister said in a statement on Saturday.

The ban will apply to all foreigners who travel “for professional or private reasons.” Those from Belarus, members of “official delegations” and people with a residence permit in Russia are exempt, according to the statement by the head of government, Mikhail Mishustin.

Russia shares a small land border with Poland south of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. It also has less than 200 km of border with Norway.

So far, Russia has recorded 45 cases of the new coronavirus but no deaths, according to official figures released on Friday. The authorities announced that they will reduce their air connections with the European Union to reduce risks.

Russia has already closed its border with China and limited the transit of travelers from Iran and South Korea to ward off the epidemic from its territory.