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Russia is Officially Open to Tourists From These 25+ Countries

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Russia has reopened its borders to nationals and residents of 25+ countries, allowing tourists to visit.

Russia grounded most international flights on March 27, with only a handful of special repatriation flights and other government-approved flights bringing passengers to and from Russia over the past few months.

With updates happening every several weeks throughout 2020 and 2021, now over 25 nations can visit Russia for the purposes of tourism.

Russia opens for tourism to select countries
Moscow, Russia

Residents and national from the following  countries can currently enter Russia when coming directly from these countries: (last updated April 8, 2021)

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • India
  • Japan
  • Kazakstan 
  • Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Maldives
  • Qatar
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom* currently suspended due to new virus strain 
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

However, there are some important rules that do apply to visitors from the above countries:

PCR Testing

All passengers from approved countries must have a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival. The test must be in English or Russian, or if in a 3rd language – may be translated into Russian and notarized.

When tourists enter with the negative PCR test, there is no need to quarantine.

Direct Travel

Residents and nationals from the above countries can enter Russia, as long as they are coming from that nation, and not via a third-party nation. Example: A resident of Switzerland and come directly from Switzerland, but not from vacationing in France.

Visa Regulations

Normal visa regulations are still in effect for the approved nations. They will have to obtain a valid visa from the Russian Embassy (if normally required) in order to enter Russia.

Russia started approving tourists to enter on August 1, 2020 – beginning with Tanzania, United Kingdom and Turkey. Then on August 15, flights resumed with Switzerland and Swiss tourists were permitted to enter Russia. On September 2, restrictions were lifted for Egypt, Maldives and the UAE.

On October 14, Russia then made allowances for Cuba, Serbia and Japan.

Most recently, in 2021, Russia started allowing visitors from Finland, India, Qatar and Vietnam.

St Petersburg, Russia. Winter Palace
St Petersburg, Russia. Winter Palace

As of September 3rd, the government has increased air traffic between the approved nations

  • Switzerland – 4 flights a week (2x’s Moscow to/from Geneva, 2x’s Moscow to/from Zurich)
  • Maldives – 2 flights a week
  • UAE – 2 flights a week to/from Dubai
  • Egypt – 3 flights a week to/from Cairo
  • UK – Daily flights to/from London
Sochi russia
Sochi, Russia

On September 20, 4 more countries have resumed flights with Russia, allowing residents from the below countries to once again enter; Belarus, Kazakstan, Korea, and Kyrgyzstan. 

The flights will be operated once a week. Air traffic with Kazakhstan (Nur-Sultan), Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek) and Belarus (Minsk) will resume on September 21, with South Korea (Seoul) on September 27.

When can other countries travel to Russia?

As of January 25, 2021 only 18 nations are permitted to visit. The government’s website states:

“The operational headquarters continues to monitor the situation and work on expanding the list of countries with which air traffic can be resumed.”

On August 24th, Reuters published: Russian authorities may this week announce the resumption of international flights to France, Hungary, Malta, Cyprus, Jordan, Egypt and China’s Shanghai.

Only Egypt seemed to make it on the approved list, but that may mean the other nations are still being considered.

Read More: See the full countries worldwide that have reopened for tourism, and which companies offer travel insurance that covers covid

Sources: / Ministry of Tourism / IATA / / moscowtimes / update-

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories

Originally published September 2020 with updates

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Monday 15th of March 2021

When would it be opened to foreign students


Thursday 4th of February 2021

Russian authorities has absolutely no sense. They think tourists will not bring Corona virus while students are the main culprits. And now Moscow universities are resuming in person lectures and still they haven't resumed visas. Russia is by far no way at par with world leading nations.


Thursday 28th of January 2021

Hello We have so many problems and we can’t go a head with online lessons I am from Afghanistan and we are waiting for students visa since 15 of September


Sunday 24th of January 2021

How pathetic they are prioritizing start term visas (tourist) and ignoring long term visas applicants. I am a master student from Pakistan waiting for months and embassy has frozen visa issuance despite the fact that Pakistan fulfils the epidemiological requirements. If Russians don't want students to enter then why did they admit us in the first place? Every student should be able to come to Russia with negative PCR testing and mandatory quarantine. Its strange that nightclubs are open and universities are closed. Shows the priority of Russian authorities


Wednesday 6th of January 2021

Why can't Russia approve students for travel even to transit through approved countries. This online study is not working for most people and we all thought that by September 15 they would open borders to us and they just went quiet after this.

We have been patient but this is increasingly hard on us now :-(