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Russian government has eased restrictions on entry and exit from the country

What were the restrictions?

The government decree of March 16 prohibited border crossing for most citizens of Russia and other countries with some exceptions for certain citizens. A new decree was issued on June 6.

Update as of July 13, 2020: Rospotrebnadzor has issued an order canceling compulsory self-isolation for all visitors to the Russian Federation from July 15.  When crossing the border, foreign citizens will need to provide a medical certificate confirming that they are not infected by the coronavirus. Medical certificates, drawn up either in Russian or in English, must be obtained no more than 3 days before entering the Russian Federation. According to Rospotrebnadzor order, the requirements for medical certificates are as follows: “a medical document (in Russian or in English) confirming a negative test for COVID-19 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), collected no earlier than three calendar days before arrival in the Russian Federation, a medical document confirming the detection of antibodies of immunoglobulin G (IgG) (if any)". If no certificates are available, a test must be done in the Russian Federation within 3 days of arrival. Russian citizens must be tested for coronavirus in the Russian Federation within 3 days of entry.

September 24, 2020 Rospotrebnadzor has issued another order according to which Russian citizens have to self-isolate after coming back to Russia until they obtain the results of the test for COVID-19. Employers must notify employees about this duty before their departure from Russia.

December 26, 2020. New order by Rosbotrebnadzor: all russian and foreign citizens who arrive from Great Britain have to go through a 14-day self-isolation at the place of their permanent or temporary residence.

What has changed?

For Russian nationals. Russian nationals can now leave the country:

  • To visit close relatives who live abroad and need care;
  • For treatment, work, or study (single border crossing).

Documents confirming the purpose of the visit must be provided to cross the border.

For foreign nationals. Foreign nationals are allowed to enter the Russian Federation:

  • For treatment in Russian medical organizations. To this end, foreign nationals will have to provide:
    • Valid identity documents recognized as such in the Russian Federation and visas, or without visas in cases provided by international treaties;
    • Documents or copies of documents issued by a medical organization confirming the treatment offer and specifying the treatment dates, or documents issued by the Russian Ministry of Health.
  • Those with close relatives, foster parents or guardians who need care are allowed to cross the border. To do so, they will need:
    • Valid identity documents and visas if required by international treaties;
    • Documents confirming kinship;
    • Documents issued by a medical organization confirming that the relatives need care.
  • 25.06.2020 Highly qualified specialists are allowed to enter Russia under certain conditions
    27.08.2020 Entry procedure for Highly Qualified Specialists during the period of restrictions related to COVID-19

Timeline for resumption of transport links

The situation with transport links remains uncertain. According to one of TASS sources, the Federal Air Transport Agency plans to send proposals to Rospotrebnadzor for resumption of flights from Russian from July 15.

According to the website of the Association of Russian Tour Operators, Russia plans to open air links with 8 CIS countries from July 15 onwards, and from August 1 “air links will open with another 7 countries (countries from Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia) for regular fights to major cities. Charter flights will be resumed last.”

  • Updates as of July 2, 2020: The opening of air links is expected not earlier than August 1, 2020. (RBK in Russian)
  • Update as of July 13, 2020: Negotiations between Russian authorities and other countries on the opening of international air travel will start on July 15 (Interfax)
  • Update as of July 24, 2020: Starting from August 1, 2020 air links between Moscow and London, Ankara, Stambul and Zanzibar will be open. (RBK)
  • Update as of September 3, 2020: Russia resumes international flights with Egypt, UAE and Maldives (government decree). 
  • Update as of September 12, 2020: Entry restrictions have been removed for Abkhazia (August 01, 2020) and South Ossetia.
  • Update as of September 20, 2020: Russia resumes flights with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (from Sept. 21) and South Korea (from Sept .27).
  • Update as of October 14, 2020 Russia resumes flights with Serbia, Japan and Cuba (TASS).
  • Update as of November 16, 2020. New government decree removes entry restrictions for Ethiopia and Seychelles.
  • Update as of November 18, 2020. New government decree allows entry from Turkmenistan according to this agreement.
  • Update as of December 21, 2020. Russia bans flights to and from UK for 1 week starting from December 22, 2020 (TASS).
  • Update as of December 30, 2020. Restrictions for travelling to and from UK are prolonged until January 12, 2021 (Interfax) February 1, 2021, February 16, 2021 (January 12, 2021 Government of Russia, RBC), March 16 (February 16, 2021 Government of Russia) April 16 (March 16, 2021 Government of Russia).
  • Update as of January 16, 2021: Air links with Vietnam, Qatar, India and Finland will be resumed.
  • Update as of January 26, 2021: New government decree removes restrictions for Finland, Vietnam, India and Quatar.
  • Update as of January 27, 2021: New Government Decree. Entry limitations between February 1 and March 1 April 1 (March 1, 2021 Government Decree),  2021 are not applied to citizens of Eurasian Economic Union who enter Russia from Belarus and Armenia. The absence of COVID-19 has to be certified using mobile app "Travelling without COVID-19".
  • Update as of January 27, 2021: Air links with Greece and Singapore and train service with Belarus are resumed starting from February 8, 2021 (Government of Russia).
  • Update as of February 3, 2021 Air links with Armenia and Azerbaijan are resumed starting from February 15, 2021 (Government of Russia). 
  • Update as of February 15, 2021 Pobeda announced flights to Milan from March 26 (airport Orio al Serio, Bergamo).
  • Update as of February 16, 2021 Travelling restrictions for citizens of Greece and Singapore have been removed (Government Decree).
  • Update as of March 25, 2021 Air links with Germany, Venezuela, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Sri Lanka will be resumed from April 1, 2021 (Government of Russia).
  • Update as of March 30, 2021 International students from countries in the list below are allowed to enter Russia. The requirements and procedure can be found on the website of Ministry of education. (Government of Russia, Instructions from the Ministry of Education (RU)) .

Full list of countries as of now:

  • Abkhazia
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Germany (from April 1, 2021)
  • Japan
  • India
  • Italy (from March 26, only for certain categories (students, EU nationals, Russian nationals with EU residence permits etc.))
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Maldives
  • Qatar
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • South Ossetia
  • Sri Lanka (from April 1, 2021)
  • Syria (from April 1, 2021)
  • Tajikistan (from April 1, 2021)
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan (from April 1, 2021)
  • Venezuela (from April 1, 2021)
  • Vietnam
  • UAE
  • UK (air travelling restrictions are prolonged until April 16 (Government of Russia))

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Updates on temporary migration measures during pandemic in Russia