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Putin Wants ‘Vaccine Tourism’ Plan by End-June

Tourists could come to Russia for vaccines in July. Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Update: Foreigners looking to travel to Russia for coronavirus vaccination should be ready to spend between $1,500 and $2,500, not including airfare, Russian Association of Tour Operators (ATOR) president Andrei Ignatiev said Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday asked the government to put together a plan by the end of June to bring “vaccine tourism” to Russia.

There is widespread practice where business people and heads of companies come specifically to Russia to get a jab against the coronavirus,” Putin told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). 

“In that regard, I would like to ask the government to analyze all aspects of this issue by the end of the month … to be able to organize the conditions for foreign citizens to come to Russia and get vaccinated on a commercial basis,” Putin said. 

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is promoting Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine around the world, said earlier in the day that it could launch vaccine tourism in July 2021.

Putin said that all Russians have the opportunity to be vaccinated “comfortably, voluntarily and free of charge.” He advises Russians to get inoculated against Covid-19 on an almost-daily basis.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriyev said earlier Friday that European countries have expressed “particular interest” in vaccine tourism to Russia. 

I think we will provide the details of the concept in late June,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Dmitriyev as saying at SPIEF.

Russia’s consumer protection agency, which is overseeing the nationwide Covid-19 response effort, promised Thursday to address vaccinations of foreign nationals in Russia “soon.”

Putin has been vaccinated with both components of a Russian coronavirus vaccine, though he has refused to name which of the three domestically manufactured jabs he received.

Russia’s borders officially remain closed to visitors from most countries, with flights having resumed with 29 countries.

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