Coronavirus Travel Restrictions in Russia

Author: Dmitry Paranyushkin (on 19 May 2020)
Learn everything you need to know about the travel restrictions imposed in Russia due to Covid-19 pandemic. On this page we present the latest coronavirus travel updates for Russia, so you know how to plan your journey better. In general there are still very few cases registered in Russia and the general mood seems to be pretty calm (the supermarket shelves are not as empty as in Europe). You can also still do the transit flights and travel out, but there are restrictions imposed on entry and there is a general lockdown. You can find more information below:

Travel Restrictions — 10/05/2020

10/05/2020: Currently you can only enter Russia if you are holding a Russian passport or a permanent or temporary residency permit (RVP). If you just have a long-term business visa or a 3-year tourist visa or a work visa you cannot enter Russia. It is, however, possible to leave Russia any time if you need to, as long as you hold a valid visa. If your visa is expiring before the 15th of June you can prolong it due to Coronavirus crisis in order to be able to stay in Russia if you wish so. You can do so at the nearest MVD office (see the news from 19/03/2020). There are some flights to and from Russia, but they are sporadic. Swiss Air is starting their regular flights to Switzerland from the 1st of June and Lufthansa is commencing their flights from the 15th of June 2020. If you need to urgently get to/from Russia one possible option is to travel thorugh Belarus, which doesn't officially have Coronavirus curfew. However, there are not so many countries you can go from Belarus to, you will need to check with their local airline Belavia what the options are.

Special Digital Permits — 14/04/2020

14/04/2020: Curfew is set in Moscow (planned to last at least until the 31st of May). This means you can only leave your house to go do shopping nearby (100m), to walk a dog, or to take out garbage. If you need to travel further, you need to apply for a special digital pass. This can be done on the official website of Moscow (in English) or via a text message (from a Russian operator) to 7377. You would need to include your Passport (ID) number in the application or a message. The passes are normally given maximum twice a week. You can also get more passes if you are going to a doctor (you don't need to specify where exactly). If you get stopped on the street without a pass, the maximum fine is 5000R (€80). 

Moscow and Moscow Region Lockdown — 29/03/2020

29/03/2020: Starting from the 30th of March and for undefined period (we expect it to last about 2 weeks) Moscow and Moscow region will be on the lockdown. Residents (and tourists) are only allowed outside to buy food in the nearest supermarket, go to work (if it's absolutely necessary), or to take their pets out. Sport activities are not explicitly allowed, but you can take out your garbage, which could probably be a good excuse to get some fresh air. The fines for breaking the rule are about 1500 - 3000 R (€20-€30) and in case you infect somebody (even involuntarily) you may be criminally persecuted as well. While we do think this whole Coronavirus crisis is fuelled by media overreaction (also based on the data presented in this article), the Russian and Moscow authorities have followed the suit of every other government — most likely out of fear to be called "irresponsible" and also because it provides an oppotunity to test out exceptional measures and surveillance-control mechanisms.

Due to Coronavirus Russian visas will be extended — 19/03/2020

19/03/2020: If you hold a Russian visa and stuck in Russia during the coronavirus you can extend your visa. It was annouced today by MVD (Ministry of Intenal Affarairs). In order to apply you just need to write a free-form request (in Russian) and submit it to the closest MVD office near the place you live at. They will then extend your visa. Source: MVD

Russia closing borders for all the foreigners — 16/03/2020

16/03/2020: Starting from the 18th of March 2020 (0:00 midnight) until the 1st of May 2020 no foreigners are allowed to enter Russia. The exception is for the people who hold a residency permit for Russia, private visa holders who are traveling for a funeral of a relative, diplomats, commercial freight and passenger transport drivers — all these people can enter Russia. Of course, it is still possible to leave Russia during that period, as some flights to the main capitals of the world are still operating. Source: Kommersant


Poland has closed its borders, so no transit driving to Russia — 14/03/2020

14/03/2020: Starting from yesterday Poland has closed its borders so it is not possible to drive to / from Russia by car through Poland / Belarus. As Ukraine is also closed and Denmark as well the only way to get to / from Russia is by air. Also, Russia has closed its land border with Norway.


Italian Citizens are banned from entering Russia — 13/03/2020

13/03/2020: Starting from midnight 13/03/2020 Italian citizens are banned from entering Russia. The italian citizens who have a residency permit in Russia and all other European citizens are still allowed to travel to Russia. Source: Kommersant

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No Travel Restrictions from USA / UK — 12/03/2020

12/03/2020: No travel restrictions to/from USA and UK, people arriving from EU and some Asian countries have their temperature checked at the border and are advised to go into 14-day self-isolation (mostly at Moscow airports — elsewhere there don't seem to be too many checks yet). You would have to specify the address where you are staying and you might get visited by the doctors to have your temperature checked and to ensure you're staying in. There are only a few reports on these checks and if you do get found out out of quarantine or roaming around you might get a 300-500 Rubles (€5-€7) fine (article 19.5 of the Russian administrative codex — ignoring an advice of an official body). If you did have coronavirus and somebody died as a result of you contaminating them you could get criminally persecuted (article 236 of the Russian criminal code). If they did not die you but only got contaminated from you, you would only get fined.

Limited Flights to/from EU — 11/03/2020

11/03/2020: Russian government has decreased the number of flights to/from EU. Now it's only Aeroflot who's allowed to fly. Possibly due to the low load of the airplanes. Good for environment, not so good for the smaller airlines like Utair who also were selling tickets about 30% less than Aeroflot.

Chasing Away Coronavirus with Smoke — 09/03/2020

09/03/2020: Russian babushkas are chasing away Coronavirus with smoke and quite successfully so as the virus is not so spread in Russia at this point.


Travel Checks on EU Arrivals — 08/03/2020

08/03/2020: People arriving from EU, especially Italy (not all flights) have their temperature checked and are advised to go on a 14-day self-imposed quarantine. This is mostly enforced in the Moscow airports, not in all Russia.
Coronavirus checks in Moscow airport, Russia

Chinese, South Korean and Iranian Citizens are Banned from Entering Russia

03/03/2020: As of today, Chinese, South Korean and Iranian citizens are banned from entering Russia.




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