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Covid-19 in Russia: Travel and Visa Updates

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August 2

Russia re – opens the border with Abkhazia starting from August 1. The Russian visitors seeking to arrive in Abkhazia will not be required to present COVID-free certificates. The Abkhaz will also be allowed to freely enter Russia.

Russia is resuming flights to and from Switzerland on August 15. According to the official statement, flights between Moscow and Geneva will be carried out once a week. Travelers from Russia will have to observe a 10-day quarantine on arrival, according to the Swiss embassy. The airlines will be notified on the flights’ resumption.

So far, international flights are operated only from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don.

July 31

Russia’s Aeroflot airlines will refuse to transport the foreigners flying to Russia from abroad without a certificate of a negative test for COVID-19, the company said in a statement.

“Foreign citizens planning to fly into Russia, including transit passengers, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR-test result in order to check in and board the flight. Passengers must be tested within 72 hours of the flight departure. They will also be required to complete a special form during the flight,” the company said.

Earlier, TASS reported with reference to the Federal Air Transport Agency, that Russian airlines have the right to refuse admission to foreigners without any documents confirming the absence of coronavirus. The agency specified that the final decision would be made by the airline.

Aeroflot also noted that only PCR-method of COVID-19 testing will be accepted.

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Austria permitted the entry for travellers coming from 30 European countries, including Russia.

Austria’s government has decided to impose travel restrictions on the countries, where the Coronavirus cases are surging, in an effort to stop the further spread of the virus.

The countries considered high-risked by Austria’s government include Albania, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, North Macedonia, Senegal, Serbia, USA, Turkey, Ukraine, Philippines, the Chinese province of Hubei, Chile, Montenegro, Sweden, Ecuador, South Africa.

Medical professionals, seasonal workers and diplomats will be exempted from the above mentioned decision. However, if they come from Austria’s red list, they will be required to take a PCR test.

July 29

The European Union will remain closed to Russian citizens until at least mid-August, the state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday, citing a source in one of the EU member states’ delegations. 

At the next stage of reviving international air travel, Russia may restore flights to South Korea and the Maldives, a source close to the aviation authorities told TASS.

From August 15th, Wizz Air will return to Russia with three flights per week out of its London Luton hub, to the north of the United Kingdom’s capital city. The airline is selling tickets starting at £25.99 ($33.41) for flights to St Petersburg and Moscow.

July 27

The flights between Russia and Turkey are set to restart on Aug. 1 following a halt caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, with initial flights to the Turkish capital Ankara and Istanbul. The first charter flights for Dalaman, Bodrum and Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline are scheduled for Aug. 10.

Travelers have been reminded that upon arrival to Russia they will need to present the negative results of PCR test for coronavirus valid not more than 72 hour prior to departure. The test for Russian citizens may be done upon arrival in Russia.

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After three months in lockdown Russia is now negotiating restart of air connections with 30 countries (Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

Transport minister Evgeny Ditrikh assured that the list of destinations available to Russian travelers will gradually expand. At present Russia is negotiating mutual restart of air connections with 30 other countries.

Wizz Air is to resume its flights from the UK to Russia, the airline said.

The carrier said the restart of services from London Luton to Moscow and St Petersburg from August 15 follows the relaxation of Russian travel restrictions.

Sheremetyevo International Airport has announced the launch of a project for express testing of arriving and departing passengers for coronavirus at Terminal B. Previously, the result came in 3 days, now – in an 1 hour. The price of the service is 2750 rubles. The entire testing procedure from the moment you start filling out the application until the result is obtained will take 75 minutes.

Russia will open its borders with other countries on a reciprocal basis, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, noting that these issues are being discussed with the foreign partners but no specific decisions have been made yet.

Taiwan on Thursday announced a one-year extension of trial visa-free entry for nationals from Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, and Russia from August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021.

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July 2

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, has extended Russia’s ban on international flights until August 1

As the European Union re – opens its external borders, a non – mandatory list of 15 countries has been issued letting tourists travel within the so-called “travel bubbles”- excluding Russia, unfortunately.

MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA – MARCH 1, 2020: Travellers look at aircraft from a waiting area at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. Valery Sharifulin/TASS

In 2021 Russia will be offering simplified electronic visas to tourists from 53 countries. The list includes EU members states, China, Japan, India, India and Turkey. Starting from January 1 2021 foreigners will be able to get single -entry, 16 – day visas by applying on the Russian Foreign Ministry website ( the form is not there yet), according to the Kommersant newspaper.

The E-Visa to Russia will cost about 50$ for adults with no fee for children under the age of 6.

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Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot has processed more than 100,000 applications for e-vouchers as compensation for unused tickets and additional services purchased before 1 May 2020. 

Testing of the system started on 26 May 2020 on the Company’s website. On the first day 207 applications were processed, and as of now the system handles more than 8,000 applications each day.

E-vouchers are valid for three years and can be redeemed against any number of tickets and services when booking via Aeroflot’s contact centre and on the airline’s website. Passengers can apply for e-vouchers until 31 December 2020.

Aeroflot is offering additional benefits to passengers using e-vouchers to book tickets.

Here are the details on how to apply for Aeroflot voucher.

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