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Russia Will Begin Lifting International Flight Restrictions

Russia could reopen to tourists from countries where the coronavirus is in decline from July 15.

Russia banned international flights on March 27. Moskva News Agency

Russia will begin negotiations with other countries to restart international flights from July 15, deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova said Friday. 

Flights will be permitted to countries where cases of the coronavirus do not exceed 40 per 100,000 people, where the average daily increase in new cases over the last 14 days is no higher than 1% and where the current rate of transmission is less than one.

Russia cancelled international flights on March 27, and only a handful of special repatriation flights have been taking passengers to and from Russia over the past three months.

Golikova said reopening of flight routes would be based on the principle of reciprocity — meaning Russia will need to strike an agreement with each government to resume air travel.

Those arriving in Russia will need to have proof that they have tested negative for the coronavirus in the last 72 hours to be allowed entry, she added.

The EU, which reopened its borders on July 1 to visitors to 15 countries, is still officially closed to Russians. 

No specific countries were proposed to be included in the first phase of reopening. Golikova instructed various government departments to draw up a list of eligible countries and to start negotiations on reopening flights.

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