Nov 25, 2020 Information regarding Russia travel-related news, regulations and restrictions in regards to the Coronavirus outbreak

The following is a post from US Dept of State travel advisories.


Current travel restrictions for entering Russia as of 11/25/2020

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy Moscow advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Russia. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in the Russian Federation have limited capacity to assist U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency.
  • The Russian Federation is one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 25 November, the Government of the Russian Federation has reported 2,162,503 cumulative cases of coronavirus and 37,538 attributed fatalities. Russia has experienced a resurgence of cases, which have grown quickly since September. Medical services have generally been able to provide adequate care for serious cases of COVID-19, but have come under new strain as the number of daily new cases reaches record levels. The healthcare system in Russia faces limitations and adequate care may not be available everywhere.
  • Although the Russian government has rescinded most orders to halt the spread of the virus, the risk of infection remains pervasive and U.S. citizens in Russia should continue to follow CDC recommendations for preventing infection.
  • Businesses, transportation, and government institutions are largely operating as normal; most restrictions to slow the spread of the virus have been revoked. As a result, products and services are widely available as before the start of the pandemic.  Grocery stores are well stocked and operating normal hours.  Some jurisdictions place limitations on large gatherings and mass events.
  • On October 28th, the government of the Russian Federation reinstated a requirement to wear masks in crowded public areas, including public transportation, taxis, parking lots, and elevators. This order applies to the entire country.
  • Measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 vary widely, as individual regions and cities set their own policies. Travelers should check with the local government in their region for current restrictions.  Travelers should comply with all government restrictions/requirements regarding the spread of COVID-19.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No
    • The Government of the Russian Federation banned the entry of foreign nationals, including American citizens, with a few exceptions.
    • The ban does not apply to: airplane crew members, permanent residents of the Russian Federation who hold a valid residence permit, or transit passengers. In addition, the Russian government allows entry of foreigners for medical treatment or in order to care for relatives in Russia.
    • U.S. citizens who qualify as a “high-qualified specialist” on specific categories of work visas are allowed to enter Russia with the proper visa document.  They should coordinate with their employer in Russia in obtaining this type of visa.
    • U.S. citizens who hold a tourist visa and have family members in Russia (spouse, children, parents, etc.) are generally NOT allowed to enter under the current rules regarding Covid-19.  They should reach out to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, DC, for their request to be considered.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
    • The Russian government requires that all foreign travelers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result upon arrival, dated no later than three days prior to arrival in Russia. The results can be in English and/or digital. Foreign travelers must also complete the attached form (PDF, 210Kb), print, and present to customs upon arrival in Russia
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
    • Mandatory temperature screenings and other diagnostic and protective measures are being implemented at international airports and other major transit hubs.
  • The Russian Government has again extended a grace period on immigration documents, including visas, residence permits, and migration registration until December 15, 2020. Documents that expired after March 14, 2020 are automatically extended until December 15, 2020. For work permits, employers may apply to extend their validity. The Russian Government has not clarified procedures for handling expiring documents beyond December 15, 2020.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No 

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
    • Anyone testing positive for COVID in Russia is required to quarantine at their place of residence. We strongly recommend that all U.S. citizens in Russia comply with all requested measures.
      • The Russian Federation no longer requires all travelers to quarantine for 14 days directly after arrival in Russia.  Local jurisdictions set their own rules regarding quarantine requirements for travelers arriving in the country. Check with local authorities for current requirements.
    • The federal non-working period, which was implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, has ended and the government lifted most restrictions.  Individual regions, however, set their own rules regarding self-isolation, opening of businesses, and movement of people, based on conditions in each region.  Please check with the local government for current restrictions.
    • Despite the official easing of public restrictions and limitations, however, the threat of COVID-19 infection and spread remains serious and prevalent.  We encourage all U.S. citizens to continue practices that help protect against and slow the spread of COVID-19.  Wear masks at all times in public places, and anywhere you cannot maintain more than six feet of distance from others.  Wash your hands frequently.  Avoid crowded places and crowded means of transport.  For a more comprehensive lists of practices to keep yourself and others safe, please visit
    • The city of Moscow previously removed most limits on people, businesses, and educational and public institutions, but some new restrictions have been introduced as new cases continue to rise. The city of Moscow requires that businesses have 30 percent of employees telework to prevent the spread of the virus. Schools have transitioned to online learning for higher grades. All universities and colleges in Moscow now must conduct classes through distance learning. All bars, restaurants, and clubs in Moscow must close between 11 pm and 6 am. In Moscow, anyone 65 years or older is required to self-isolate.
    • In Moscow, wearing a mask and gloves remains mandatory on public transportation, in stores, or inside any building open to the public.  The city government still advises everyone to maintain a 1.5 meter distance from others at all times.  These requirements apply to U.S. citizens and violators can be fined.
  • The Moscow Department of Health maintains a hotline for further information and updates +7 495 870-45-09.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Testing in widely available in Russia, both through government healthcare providers and private clinics. Testing is free at government healthcare providers for those suspected of having coronavirus.  In Moscow, residents of Russia who have mandatory medical insurance may schedule a free test at any time at one of 207 government healthcare providers in Moscow that provide testing.  Private clinics also provide COVID testing on a fee-basis.

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
    • The Russian Government is allowing regular international flights to resume to certain countries, including to Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Seychelles, Switzerland, Serbia, South Korea, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates. Limited numbers of flights are available to other locations. Air travel remains erratic and subject to cancellations. Aeroflot continues to have weekly flights from Moscow to New York.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    • Wearing a mask is required on public transportation throughout the country. In addition, wearing gloves remains mandatory on public transportation in Moscow.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • Violation of an order to self-isolate may result in a fine of 4,000-5,000 rubles. If the violation leads to mass spread of disease or death, the violator may be prosecuted under Russian law and sentenced to up to seven years in prison.  A smartphone app automatically monitors compliance with these orders.  Regions and cities set their own fines for violating rules on social distancing, wearing masks, etc.  In Moscow, individuals not wearing masks and gloves on public transportation or in stores may be fined 5,000 rubles.

Consular Operations:

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg are only accepting passport requests for urgent travel to return to the United States and for other emergency situations. Routine services have been suspended.  The safety of U.S. citizens is our top priority.
  • All requests for emergency U.S. passport appointments must be sent to In the e-mail, please include the following information:
    • If renewing, a scanned copy of the U.S. passport to be renewed
    • If a first-time applicant, citizenship evidence such as a U.S. birth certificate
    • Copies of both parents’ passports in the case of minor applicants
    • Purpose of travel
    • Destination
    • Intended dates of travel
    • Your country of residence
    • The e-mail subject line should read: Emergency Passport Appointment Request – (Applicant’s name) – (Applicant’s date of birth), for example, Emergency Passport Appointment Request – John Doe – 01 January 1980.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates have suspended visa services until further notice. Consulate General Yekaterinburg has begun to accept a limited number of interview waiver visa applications for C1/D and F non-immigrant visas ONLY.  At this time, we are neither accepting nor processing applications for other immigrant or non-immigrant visa categories.

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