Russia has reopened its borders to nationals and residents of many countries, allowing tourists to visit for non-essential purposes.
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 50+ nations can visit Russia for the purposes of tourism.
Residents and national from the following countries can currently enter Russia when coming directly from these countries: (last updated July 30, 2021)
- North Macedonia
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom* currently suspended due to new virus strain
However, there are some important rules that do apply to visitors from the above countries:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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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