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Russia is Officially Open to Tourists From These 50+ Countries

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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.

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 July 30, 2021)

  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakstan 
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • 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: government.ru / Ministry of Tourism / IATA / gov.uk / moscowtimes / update- government.ru

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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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Anthony

Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Hello. According to IATA, it appears that a NEW update as of September 1, Russia has opened borders and restrictions to more countries. It also states that nationals & residents of stated countries can arrive directly OR transit through "any" of those listed countries. Is this correct? My understanding, is that throughout the pandemic until now, nationals of approved countries could only arrive directly from countries in which they reside/national of - and were not allowed to transit through a third country. However, are IATA updates 100% accurate? I could not find accurate information elsewhere, nor get any confirmation/response from the Russian Ministry of Tourism.

I am a Hong Kong passport holder (national), but I plan to travel to/from Russia via Turkey/Europe - and NOT Hong Kong.

Thanks for your attention.

Anthony

Friday 3rd of September 2021

@Kashlee Kucheran, thanks for your advice! And as a dual-national (one being Canadian, in which is not on their list) - I assume that it is irrelevant where I physically reside, as long as I use a valid passport of a country in which they are open to (i.e. Hong Kong)?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 2nd of September 2021

We are updating the Russia article soon (it's in the queue) but with the information I have, entry can be from any of the 'safe' countries listed, as long as the passenger is also a resident of any of those countries, and is not transiting through a country not on the list. IATA is an extremely reliable source, as its what the airlines use. With the info I have, it seems your path from Turkey will be permitted

Ladipo Angela

Monday 7th of June 2021

i am a Nigerian and I just secured admission to study language. please when is the border going to be opened to nigerians

duane

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

Thank you for the information, i look forward to Russia opening for travel from the US.

Henrique

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Hello, my name is Henrique. I’m from Brazil. I’m planning travel to Russia in mid june in order to climb Mt Elbrus. When the russian authorities are going to open theirs borders for brazilians? Will I need a PCR test? A vaccination proof ? A quarentene time after arriving in Russia?

Thanks in advance

Kashlee Kucheran

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

Hello - Russia is only currently open to the countries listed in this article. They have not released when they will reopen further for more countries and what the entry requirements might be in the future

Ru

Sunday 25th of April 2021

I believe as of the 14 April Article 963. Citizens and residents from any of the permitted countries can travel from any other country on the permitted list.