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Russia Lifts Travel Bans As Moscow Eases Restrictions

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As many countries around the world move to introduce further bans and restrictions to travel, Russia has taken a step in the opposite direction. The country has made the decision to lift some of its flight bans, whilst the capital city Moscow has eased some of its restrictions in the wake of an improving situation in the country. Here’s what travelers should know about the lifting of the bans and the easing of the restrictions in Moscow, as well as a look at the Covid-19 situation in Russia at present.

man moscow russia kremlin red square

Russia Lifts Flight Bans – What Travelers Should Know

Russia initiated a series of flight bans during the early months of the pandemic, with most foreign nationals banned from entering on March 18th. However, the country yesterday announced that the restrictions on entry were being lifted for Finland, Vietnam, Qatar and India.

The announcement made it clear that citizens of the four aforementioned countries, along with those who have a residence permit in the countries, are now able to enter Russia via air checkpoints. It was also revealed that the decision is reciprocal, with Russian travelers now also able to visit Finland, Vietnam, Qatar and India.

Entry Requirements

At present, two flights per week are scheduled from Russia to Vietnam and India, with Qatar serviced by three flights a week and Finland four flights. Travelers and residents from these countries must provide a negative Covid-19 test taken with 72-hours of their flights, proof of their status in their country and they must also ensure they have a visa that allows them to enter Russia. There are no quarantine requirements for travelers from these countries.

Can Other Travelers Enter Russia?

Flights to Russia are extremely restricted at present. Those who can gain access to the country are only able to do so providing they are covered by one of the legal exceptions required to enter the country. Such exceptions include:

  • Foreign citizens who are relatives or guardians of Russian citizens
  • Foreign citizens who require medical treatment
  • Foreign citizens traveling to visit an ill close relative
  • Highly qualified workers

For a full list of restrictions, please check here.

Those due to enter can only do so if they have a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than three calendar days before they arrive in Russia. Some passengers may need to self-isolate on arrival, as is the case with those coming from the UK, who must self-isolate for a period of 10 days once they are in Russia.

Russia is Officially Open to Tourists From These 7 Countries

Moscow Eases Its Restrictions – Information for Travelers

Following a sharp fall in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, the mayor of Moscow has announced that a series of strict restrictions imposed at the height of the spread are to be lifted in the capital, with life in the city ready to go back to a new kind of normal.   

Russia opens for tourism to select countries

Writing in his personal blog, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin delivered the news that the work from home measures and restaurant curfews were to be lifted, though stressed that companies were still free to impose their own work from home orders or curfews as they see fit. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are now free to open at any hour for the first time since November, giving citizens a taste of pre-pandemic life once more as the city reaps the rewards of imposing a strict lockdown in the previous months.

russia passenger plane

The mayor also pointed out that the threat of becoming infected might be reduced, but it hasn’t completely disappeared. Whilst case numbers in Moscow have not exceed 3000 for a week and beds have fallen below 50% occupancy for the first time in over 6 months, Russia still remains one of the worst-hit countries in the world in terms of total numbers of people having caught the case, so maintaining caution in the country is advised.

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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


Thursday 6th of May 2021

Can Hong Kong citizens visit yet? I only see if citizens of "China" can visit or not (since last year, they're not allowed). But HK citizens were always allowed to visit visa-free for 14 days pre-scamdemic, unlike "mainland" Chinese citizens, who had always needed visas to visit.


Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Not as good as it sounds. These are miniscule steps. This part jumped out at me:

"Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are now free to open at any hour for the first time since November, giving citizens a taste of pre-pandemic life once more as the city reaps the rewards of imposing a strict lockdown in the previous months."

And once the lockdowns are lifted, infection rates increase. (Or "soar" as the media likes to say...) Because, you know, that's what airborne respiratory viruses do. It's inevitable.


Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Any rumors on when Americans will be able to travel, Kyle? I am desperately trying to get over there.