Russia mandates 14-day self-isolation for travelers from several countries as of March 7. Further restrictions likely at short notice.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 07 Mar 2020 12:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Entry restrictions; health screenings; increased immigration wait times likely

Summary
As of March 7, the Russian Department of Health states that all travelers, regardless of nationality, are required to self-isolate at their accommodation for 14 days if they have arrived from China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, or Spain. Travelers - including transit passengers - staying for less than 14 days will be permitted to leave, though they will be required to spend the full term of their stay in their accommodation. It is unclear to what degree this order will be enforced, though people found in violation could face severe legal penalties.

The restriction was also in effect for travelers arriving from Norway, Switzerland, the UK, and the US March 6, though it appears to have been lifted as of March 7. These countries - as well as other locations impacted by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - could again be included in the restriction at short notice. The Department of Health advises that travelers should confirm the status of the restrictions before traveling to the country.

In addition, Russia has suspended issuing visas in Iran and began restricting travel through the Iranian border from March 7. Entry will be prohibited with the exception of air crew, official and diplomatic delegations, permanent residents of Russia, and the Eurasian Economic Union.

The travel restrictions come amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which originated in China's Wuhan City in Hubei Province. The purpose of the measure is to prevent the spread of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus a global health emergency. As of March 7, the WHO has confirmed at least seven cases of COVID-19 in Russia.

Advice
Confirm any quarantine or self-isolation requirements before traveling to Russia. Individuals affected by the restrictions should postpone planned travel. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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

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