Restrictions on Poland's border with Belarus to end soon

Mariusz Kaminski said on Twitter on Thursday that the access ban to 183 localities near the border area would be lifted from July. Artur Reszko/PAP

Restrictions on entering an area close to the Belarusian border, introduced in September 2021 by the Polish government to stem the flow of irregular migrants from Belarus, will expire on July 1, the interior minister has said.

Mariusz Kaminski said on Twitter on Thursday that the access ban to 183 localities near the border area would be lifted from July.

Provincial governors, however, can still ban people from getting within 200 metres of the border.

On September 2, 2021, Poland introduced a state of emergency along the Polish-Ukrainian border, first for 30 days, and then for another 60 days, to stop the inflow of migrants, mainly from the Middle East and Africa.

Poland accused Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, of inviting them to Belarus and then pushing them across the border with Poland and Lithuania in order to destabilise the EU in retaliation for sanctions that Brussels had imposed on Minsk.

The state of emergency could not be prolonged further due to constitutional reasons, but from December 1, the Interior Ministry introduced a temporary ban on people entering 183 localities near the border for three months, and then the regulation was extended for another three months, till June 30.

Poland has been working on the construction of a 186-kilometre fence on the country's border with Belarus to prevent people crossing the frontier.