Russia Reopening Borders

Russia is Open For Tourism and Resuming Flights with 3 Countries from Sept. 21

Russia is open to tourists from 54 countries. All visitors are required to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a medical certificate for COVID-19 antibodies.

No all visitors need to quarantine. Local governments are allowed to set their own rules regarding quarantine requirements for arrivals. Visitors are advised to check with local authorities for current restrictions. 

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The Russian government has temporarily suspended flights from/to the U.K., Tanzania, and Turkey until further notice and enforced new restrictions for travelers coming from India.

Is China open for tourism?
Is Ukraine Open for tourists?
When is U.S. reopening? – Who Can Enter?

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Russia Reopening Borders – Latest Updates

Russian airlines

September 16 – Russia set to restart flights with Spain, Kenya, Slovakia and other countries from Sept. 21

Russia’s coronavirus task force announced that some of its flag carriers will restart operations to Spain, Iraq, Kenya and Slovakia from Sept. 21

So far, the government has confirmed four weekly flights between Madrid, Barcelona, Bratislava and Moscow.

Given the positive epidemiology situation, it will also increase the number of airports serving routes to Turkey and Egypt.
Source: Reuters

September 1 – Russia launches national lottery to encourage citizens to get vaccinated

The Kremlin has refused to impose mandatory vaccination in Russia and, conversely, has created multiple strategies to boost vaccinations, mostly with mixed results.

Now the government has launched a lottery that will give 1,000 vaccinated Russians the equivalent of US$1,350.

On August 26, the country officially registered its 5th coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona-N, according to a report by Interfax. The Health Ministry announced this one is an upgrade on the already-approved EpiVacCorona.

Source: The Moscow Times

Who can travel to Russia?

Nationals and residents from the following list can enter Russia. (Current at September 16)

  1. Albania
  2. Armenia
  3. Austria
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Bahrain
  6. Belgium
  7. Bulgaria
  8. China
  9. Croatia
  10. Cuba
  11. Cyprus
  12. Czech Republic
  13. Dominican Republic
  14. Egypt
  15. Ethiopia
  16. Finland
  17. France
  18. Germany
  19. Greece
  20. Hungary
  21. Iceland
  22. India
  23. Ireland
  24. Italy
  25. Japan
  26. Jordan
  27. Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan
  28. Korea
  29. Lebanon
  30. Lichtenstein
  31. Luxemburg
  32. Maldives
  33. Malta
  34. Mauritius
  35. Mexico
  36. Moldova
  37. Morocco
  38. North Macedonia
  39. Portugal
  40. Qatar
  41. Saudi Arabia
  42. Serbia
  43. Seychelles
  44. Singapore
  45. Sri-Lanka
  46. Switzerland
  47. Syria
  48. Tajikistan
  49. Turkey
  50. United Arab Emirates
  51. United States
  52. Uzbekistan
  53. Venezuela
  54. Vietnam


What are the entry requirements for Russia?

  • Must present proof in English or Russian-language that they have tested negative for the coronavirus in the past 72 hours to be allowed entry.
  • If foreigners or returning Russian citizens do not have proper test results, they will be required to submit to a PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. If the PCR outcome is positive, self-isolation for 14 days will be required.
  • Russians returning to their home country from other countries are expected to comply with a 14-day quarantine.
  • Russian nationals are required to complete an entry form on the portal and then upload their PCR test results within 72 hours of arrival in Russia.

Can travelers from other countries travel to Russia, what are the requirements?

Russia reopening for tourism

The categories listed are meant to help transition to normalcy incrementally as the government monitors any shifts in Covid-19 cases.

Russia is currently allowing specific categories of people to travel if they have proper documentation and follow health and safety protocols:

  • Diplomats as well as their family members,
  • Intergovernmental committees, commissions, or exclusive delegation members,
  • Relatives of a deceased person, if proper documentation is provided to confirm the relationship,
  • Foreigners in need of medical treatment,
  • Foreigners studying abroad in Russia,
  • Foreigners who have jobs that are categorized as “highly qualified specialists” professions,


  • Is it safe to travel to Russia now?

    Only essential travel is recommended by the CDC. Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should y reconsider their travel plans to Russia.

  • Can Americans travel to russia now?

    Yes, Russia is open for US citizens and US residents but they need to follow the current entry Covid travel restrictions.

  • Is Russia open for international students?

    Yes, Russia is open for international students that are studying in Russia but they need to follow the current travel restrictions.

  • Do I need a Covid test to fly to Russia?

    All international passengers arriving in Russia need proof of a negative PCR test or proof of antibodies.

  • Can I travel to Russia with a vaccine certificate?

    Russia doesn't accept vaccine certificates at the moment. PCR test or antibodies test is required for entry.

Covid-19 Situation in Russia 

As of September 16, Russia has reported 7,214,520 positive COVID cases and 195,835 confirmed deaths caused by the virus.

COVID-19 related restrictions

Izmailovo Kremlin, Russia

People should continue to practice infection control methods even though Moscow does not require residents to wear a mask while walking on the street.

Residents can walk around Moscow without Contact Tracing or a Digital Pass to identify if they have had any close contacts with positive Covid-19 patients.

However, residents are encouraging residents to maintain a social distance of 1.5 meters (6 feet). Visitors could be fined for noncompliance.

Masks and gloves are required on public transportation, inside stores, or inside any public buildings.

Schools, including universities, and many businesses are expected to be opened soon. Tourists can expect movie theaters and concert halls open with limited capacity permits.

For questions or concerns, the Moscow Department of Health hotline posts updates at +7 495 870-45-09.

Tourism in Russia

St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia

In early 2020 the Azerbaijan Tourism Board reported that the country’s tourism sector was growing. That year alone, 426,000 tourists from 149 countries had traveled to Russia, accounting for 17 percent growth in tourism from the previous year.

The pandemic plummeted the growth of international tourism. Whether it was to see Moscow or the countryside Russia drew tourists worldwide.

Painted in history but with all of the modern amenities. Tourists come to Russia to be swept away. In Moscow, the Kremlin and the Red Square never disappoint with their unique tours and color architecture.

Saint Petersburg attractions are walkable and concentrated around the Winter Palace. Cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg have convenient public transportation options. The adventure seekers will head out to Mount Elbrus.

Reasonable flights and an array of accommodations are available to fit every budget.

Russia reopening borders: Update archives

August 18 – Russia to resume air traffic to Czech Republic, Dominican Republic and South Korea on August 27

Russia will lift its travel ban on outbound flights to Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, and South Korea from August 27, according to a TASS report.

“Following discussions and considering the epidemiological situation in certain countries, the decision was made to lift restrictions on international regular and non-regular (charter) flights from Russian airports to the Dominican Republic, South Korea and the Czech Republic starting from August 27, 2021,” the statement reads.

Also, commercial fifths to Hungary, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be increased from the same date. 

Source: Russia News Agency

August 4 – Russia actively resuming flights with multiple countries in August 9

Russia announced the official resumption of flights with Punta Cana, La Romana, and Puerto Plata in Dominican Republic starting August 9. (Source).

The country also plans to resume flights to Egypt on the same date after a six-year halt (not COVID-related).

“From August 9, the number of flights to Europe will be increased, with Moscow-Hurghada and Moscow-Sharm el-Sheikh flights adding up to five flights per week for every route,” said the Russian Anti-coronavirus Crisis Center. (Source).

Russia “officially” resumed flights with France and the Czech Republic on July 24. However, local media says this is just a formality since no airline has announced plans to resume flights with these two countries. 

June 26 – Russia to resume flights with the U.S. and other 8 countries from June 28

The Emergency Response Centre to prevent the import and spread of the novel coronavirus has green-lighted the resumption of international travel with the U.S. Belgium, Bulgaria, Jordan, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, and North Macedonia from June 28.

In a separate report, the Russian government announced that passenger flights with low demand can be canceled or merged with other services with short to no prior notice. 

The new allowed visitors must submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before their departure. Russian citizens must also produce another negative COVID-19 test result within three days upon arrival or undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine. 

(Source: Russian Gov.)

June 10 – Russia to resume flights with 8 countries from June 10, and working on 30 more from August

Effective today, Russia resumes flights with Albania, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius and Morocco according to a statement issued by the Federal COVID-19 Response Center on Monday. 

The country is also working to expand the offer to other 30 countries from August. For now, the Ministry of Health has reported that Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Finland, China, Vietnam, Mongolia and Sri Lanka have a “satisfactory epidemiology situation” so these could be considered for the next reopening. 

Authorities will require all foreign and national citizens arriving in Russia to present a negative test for COVID-19, taken no older than 72 hours before departure.

(Source: Tass – Russian News Agency)

May 25 – Russia resumed flights with Malta, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Portugal on May 25

Russia has been increasing the number of countries they are open to. As of today, travelers from 28 countries can travel to Russia under different conditions.

As part of its reopening to the world, Russia has resumed commercial flights with Malta, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Portugal, starting today, May 25.

The country has also increased the frequency of flights with South Korea, Finland, Japan and even South America.

Among other good news, Russia is setting everything up to resume flights with Bulgaria from June 1. (Source: GardaWorld)

May 10 – Russia to ban flights from multiple countries to contain the spread of the new variants of COVID-19

Due to the high incidence rate of COVID-19 in some countries of concern, Russia has decided to limit flights coming from Turkey until June 1, and banned flights from Tanzania, a country whose authorities have refused to take any actions to contain the spread of the virus.    

Besides, Russian authorities have also extended the suspension of all commercial flights with from/to the UK until June 1 for the same reasons. Only diplomats and persons holding special visas, such as Highly Qualified Specialist visas will be granted entry. 

For its part, travelers arriving from India will have to self-isolate immediately upon arrival until they test negative for the virus, at which point they may exit quarantine. Any violations of an order to self-isolate may result in a fine of 4,000-5,000 rubles.

April 23 – Russia to resume flight operations with Egypt and Italy

Despite their political differences, both Egypt and Italy have agreed to reopen to Russian tourists by summer.

The announcement was made after a phone call between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Flights to resort destinations in Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada had been canceled after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing 224 people. 

Likewise, Russian media reported this week that Italy will be taking Russian tourists after a visit an “Italian ambassador” paid to the Russian government. 

In both cases, the official reopening date has not been confirmed yet but local media has mentioned summer as the best time.