As Russia has begun reporting fewer coronavirus infections in the past month, its authorities have made several announcements that appeared to suggest it was reopening its borders to foreigners.
This week, authorities said they will lift self-quarantine requirements for arriving citizens and foreigners alike. Starting Wednesday, Russia has also started negotiations with other countries to resume international flights. But does it mean that Russia has opened its doors to foreigners seeking entry into the country?
Here’s a look at which foreigners are currently allowed to enter Russia now that most quarantine rules have been relaxed:
Who can visit Russia?
A representative for Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor told The Moscow Times that the following categories of foreign citizens can travel to Russia:
— Diplomats and their family members,
— Members of intergovernmental commissions, committees or special delegations,
— Relatives of a deceased person, provided that they have documents confirming their relations,
— Foreigners seeking medical treatment,
— Foreigners studying in Russia,
— Foreigners who have job offers in professions that fall under the “highly qualified specialists” category.
What documents do I need?
— Starting July 15, those arriving in Russia will need to present English or Russian-language proof that they have tested negative for the coronavirus in the past 72 hours to be allowed entry.
— Like Russian citizens returning home, foreigners without test results will be required to submit a PCR test for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival. If the test comes back positive, visitors will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Which countries has Russia opened its borders to?
— Russia has not yet reopened its borders to all foreigners despite reports indicating that Belarus, Croatia and Turkey were in talks to restart travel.
— Rospotrebnadzor has compiled a list of 13 countries which it recommends restarting flights to as part of Russia’s first phase of reopening: Britain, Germany, China, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
— Reopening 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, authorities say.
Can Russians travel to other countries?
— Authorities began allowing Russians to go abroad for work, study, medical treatment or to take care of relatives.
— 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 three months.
— Russians being evacuated from other countries back home will still be subject to 14-day quarantine, according to Rospotrebnadzor.
— The European Union, which reopened its borders on July 1 to visitors from 15 countries, remains closed to Russians.