Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Russia to permit flights from more countries and ease certain coronavirus disease-related entry restrictions beginning Sept. 3.

Alert Begins 03 Sep 2020 09:52 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions remain

Beginning Sept. 3, authorities in Russia will permit flights from more countries and ease certain coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related entry restrictions. International flights will be permitted with Egypt, UAE, and the Maldives. In addition, officials will ease some travel entry requirements. Foreign citizens who are visiting a sick relative in Russia will be allowed multiple entries into the country, an increase from the previous allotted one visit.

Authorities previously resumed flights with destinations in 30 countries, including France, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, the US, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan The availability of flights is still dependent on COVID-19 restrictions in destination countries. Additionally, flights with low demand may be canceled or merged with a later or earlier service. Foreign air passengers arriving in Russia will need to present negative COVID-19 test results taken no longer than 72 hours before departure; Russian citizens must produce a negative COVID-19 test within three days upon arrival or self-isolate for 14 days. Foreigners are not allowed entry for tourism purposes.

Authorities have reopened overland border crossings with some nations, including Belarus and Estonia; all persons entering Russia via an overland border crossing will be subject to thermal imaging. Persons displaying symptoms of acute respiratory infections will be isolated, hospitalized, and tested for COVID-19. Persons not displaying symptoms must self-isolate at their accommodations; those unable to effectively self-isolate may be placed in a state facility. International rail services with Belarus and Lithuania have resumed with a reduced schedule; other international rail services remain suspended. Entry into the country via river and seaports remains suspended; freight transporters are exempt. There has been a significant reduction in high-speed and long-distance rail services since April 7.

Authorities continue to encourage residents to work from home where possible. However, in Moscow, most nonessential businesses, retailers, entertainment venues, leisure facilities, educational institutions, and cultural venues have resumed operation. Restaurants, bars, and cafes may open indoor seating areas. River taxis and other modes of river transportation are also permitted. Moscow residents are advised to wear protective face coverings in public; however, they are mandatory on public transport and in stores. All public mass events remain suspended nationwide.

Other regions have also taken steps to ease lockdowns. A range of nonessential businesses is permitted to reopen in most areas. Social-distancing rules remain in place in these regions, and residents are required to wear face coverings in public.

Any restrictions may be extended or amended with little-to-no advance notice. Failure to comply with these restrictions could result in a fine or imprisonment.

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.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center