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 11 Mar 2020 16:28 GMT and is scheduled to expire 10 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

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.

The Ministry of Transport has suspended the rail route connecting Moscow to Nice, France, via Italy; further reduced rail services to Western Europe are possible. All land borders with China and Mongolia remain closed until at least April 1. Flights to and from China and Iran have been suspended indefinitely. Indefinite suspension of flights with South Korea entered into effect March 1, with the exception of Aeroflot (SU) and Korean Air (KE) flights between Moscow and Seoul, which will continue to operate. Non-Russian residents of China, Hong Kong, and Iran are not currently allowed entry into Russia.

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 aircrew, official and diplomatic delegations, permanent residents of Russia, and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak, the Mayor of Moscow issued a decree March 10, prohibiting mass events with participation exceeding 5,000 people until April 10. This will likely mean that no demonstrations are possible until April 10.

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 11, authorities have confirmed at least 20 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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