Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Additional regions in Russia impose self-isolation regimes as of April 1 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This alert affects Russia

This alert began 01 Apr 2020 11:58 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 Apr 2020 21:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Regional authorities in Russia continue to introduce region-wide stay-at-home orders and self-isolation regimes from April 1 in efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Affected regions include Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kamchatka Kray, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, North Ossetia-Alania, Republic of Mordovia, Smolensk Oblast and Stavropol Kray. Although the restrictions vary slightly from region to region, residents are largely prohibited from leaving their homes. Exceptions include visits to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and healthcare facilities. Emergency services personnel, security forces personnel, healthcare workers, public utility workers, and workers in essential services and industries are exempt from the restrictions.

Additionally, authorities in the following regions previously introduced indefinite stay-at-home orders or self-isolation regimes: Adygea Republic, Altai Kray, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Belgorod Oblast, Chechnya, Chuvashia, Irkutsk Oblast, Kaliningrad Oblast, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kursk Oblast, Leningrad Oblast (including Saint Petersburg), Lipetsk Oblast, Mari El Republic, Moscow Oblast (including Moscow), Murmansk Oblast, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Novgorod Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast, Ryazan Oblast, Republic of Tatarstan, Sakha Republic (including Yakutsk), Saratov Oblast, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Ulyanov Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, and Vologda Oblast.

Since March 30, authorities suspended entry to the country through numerous ports of entry, including overland border crossings, rail crossings, river ports, and sea ports. The suspension will not apply to Russian diplomats or to cargo transporters. Regular and charter flights between Russian and foreign airports have been indefinitely suspended since March 25.

Russian authorities have regularly updated restrictions to combat COVID-19, including the closure of nonessential businesses from March 28 and a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days. Failure to comply with these restrictions could result in a fine or imprisonment.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the Russian government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV2-virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Russian Department of Health Helpline (English): +7 (495) 870 4509

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int