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Coronavirus (COVID19) travel information and advice

Latest news:

15th February 2021 - Due to the wide spread of the new variant of coronavirus across the UK and the current national lockdown, the Russian government has taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights from the UK to Russia until 17th March 2021

The Russian Visa Application Center is currently still open and can accept new visa applications for any travel due to take place after 16th March 2021, although please be aware that resuming of flights may be further postponed depending on the COVID situation in the UK.   

Please note: Visa extensions and compensation for visa fees cannot be granted at this time in accordance with current legislation.

To check the current lockdown rules regarding travel from the UK  please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home


Quarantine rules for UK arrivals

All British and Irish citizens and UK residents who arrive in England after being in a high-risk Covid country must now stay in quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days. Non-UK travellers who have been in these countries 10 days prior to travelling are banned from entry. The "red list" of 33 countries can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19 

All incoming passengers must complete a passenger locator form in advance, including their departure country and UK address. Passengers have to pre-book and pay £1,750 to spend 10 days in government-sanctioned hotels. The additional rate for one extra adult or a child aged over 12 is £650, and for a child aged five to 12 it is £325.The cost covers the hotel stay, transport and testing. Accommodation must be booked in advance through an online booking system. 

Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham and Farnborough Airport are currently designated as airports where people requiring hotel quarantine can enter the UK.

Passengers must take two coronavirus tests, one on day two and the other on the eigth day of quarantine, testing positive will require passengers to self-isolate for a further 10 days.

For further information, please visit: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england 

 

Test and release scheme

Russia is not designated as a high-risk Covid country list. Under the "test to release" scheme, travellers from countries not on the red list requires two tests during the quarantine process. Travellers will be required to get a test on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine period, testing positive will require passengers to self-isolate for a further 10 days. You can take a test no earlier than the 2nd day after arrival in England. Travellers also have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before travelling to be allowed entry. All incoming passengers must complete a passenger locator form in advance, including their departure country and UK address.

We have a partnership with Rightangled who is on the list of providers of Test to Release for international travel. If you would like to obtain your PCR test through us Click here to learn more.

 

LAST REVIEWED: 17th February 2021

LAST UPDATED: 17th February 2021

Frequently asked questions

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Postponing travel arrangements

We will be happy to postpone your travel arrangements for a later date. We will transfer the deposit or balance paid to a voucher that can be used towards a future booking. All new bookings must take place within 18 months of the original booking.

Amending travel arrangements

As is always the case with Real Russia travel services, we endeavour to be as flexible as possible, allowing you to tailor your experience. This will remain the case with all bookings that may be affected by COVID-19. If you would like to amend any aspect of your travel arrangements, please get in touch with our travel specialists.

Russia

All Russian visa services in the UK have been suspended by the Russian Consulate. We currently have no date on which they will resume.

A new application counts as any application where fingerprints have not yet been given. If your application has yet to be sent to Real Russia, or Real Russia is checking your documents prior to fingerprinting, then this will count as a ‘new’ application and will not be processed until visa services resume.

If you already have a visa application in process with the entry and exit dates of your visa both before 1st May 2020 your visa will not be issued, and your passport will be returned to you on the original date we provided to you upon application. If you would like your passport returned earlier than this, you will need to write a formal withdrawal request that we can give to the visa application centre.

If this affects your application we will be in touch with you shortly.

Russian business Letters of Invitation (visa support documents) that are currently in process have all been cancelled by the Russian authorities. If this affects you, we will be in touch.

Mongolia

The Mongolian Consulate has suspended all visa services temporarily. The suspension has now been extended until 31st May 2020.

If you are planning to visit Mongolia this year, please contact our visa specialists before applying to check on the current status of Mongolian visa services.

China

In line with government advice, the Chinese visa application centre will be closed until further notice.

If you are planning to visit China this year, please contact our visa specialists before applying to check on the current status of Chinese visa services.

Belarus

Real Russia are currently not lodging applications with the Belorussian Consulate.

It is possible to complete an application for future dates, and we will save it ready for lodging when the service is once again available. In the meantime, please do not send any documents to us unless they are specifically requested.

Russia

On 24th July, the Russian government announced that regular international flights to a number of countries, including the UK, would resume from 1 August.

If you have already booked your flights to Russia, we recommend checking with your travel company to ensure this is still set to go ahead. If you are looking to book a holiday to Russia, it is important to note that all passengers travelling to Russia are required to have a negative PCD Covid-19 test certificate taken no less than 72 hours before boarding.

Mongolia

Mongolia is currently limiting travel to a few charter flights. All scheduled commerical flights are currently cancelled.

If you have travel services booked with Real Russia that are affected by this our team will be in touch.

If you have booked flights separately to your Real Russia travel services, and they have been cancelled, please get in touch.

China

Commercial flights are now in operation to and from China from a number of countries. International airlines will be largely restricted to one route, operating one flight per week. If you have already booked a flight to China, we recommend checking the current status of your flight with your travel company.

There are currently no international trains running to or from China and limited flights entering or leaving the country. We do not have a date when the current situation may change.

Please note: A 14-day quarantine is in operation not only to and from China internationally (in most cases), but, also between provinces. Therefore, if you were planning on travelling through multiple provinces while visiting China you will want to check whether the quarantine rules will apply to you by either contacting your holiday provider or national travel advice body.

If you were due to travel within the next few weeks our travel specialists will be in touch to discuss your options. If you are planning to travel within the months to come, all bookings will remain unchanged.

You can contact us by live chat or email at visas@realrussia.co.uk for visa enquiries or travel@realrussia.co.uk for train tickets and other travel enquries.

If you have an emergency, our 24-hour helpline is still available on +44 (0)207 100 7370.

If you have not heard from one of our travel specialists, then there has been no change to your travel arrangements. If any changes are required, we will be in touch with you.

If you are in Russia, it is now possible to return home on a commerical flight. However, it is important to note, that on arriving in the UK you will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

If you are in the UK, you can find further information about flights and emergency loans on the FCO website.

Click here for further information.

If you are travelling to any other country, please check your country’s government website about COVID-19 for further information, or whichever airline flies to your country from Russia, such as Aeroflot or S7.

As we understand it, there will be checks at border crossings as are common at many airports currently, and if you show no symptoms you will be free to travel as usual. It is important to check each country you are entering before you leave as many now operate a 14-day quarantine policy which may impact your travel plans.

Currently, if we have not been in touch with you regarding your travel services booked with Real Russia, then they will carry on as normal.

Until then we would recommend you stay up to date on all travel advice given by official bodies such as the World Health Organisation.

As COVID-19 situation is constantly changing, it is likely that things will be very different in a few months. If you cancel, amend or postpone your booking now, you may incur extra charges that were unnecessary.

If it is no longer possible for you to travel due to closed borders, quarantine or governmental travel advice, and it is deemed necessary to cancel all or part of your travel plans, our travel specialists will be in touch.

The World Health Organisation advise that COVID-19 should not stop people from travelling, so in the first instance we will always try to offer an alternative travel experience or itinerary.

The best source of information on whether you should, or can, travel is your government or the World Health Organisation. We recommend you follow these links for  guidance  before deciding what to do about your travel plans.

 

If the situation around COVID-19 does change and you think it will negatively impact your journey, we have a 24/7 customer help line that you can call.

The number is: +44 (0) 207 100 7370.

We will offer advice and assist with any updated or alternative travel arrangements you may need.

If you are using a TravelSim purchased from Real Russia, the first two minutes of any call to this number is free of charge.

If government advice recommends against all travel, or all but essential travel, to a destination, you may be entitled to a full refund under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.

Your travel services must have been described as a package, or must contain two different travel services, and must have been booked and paid for at the same time, or within 24 hours of one another. The package or linked travel services must include travel to a country, or region, where the government has recommended against travel.

Please note, while you may still be able to travel your travel insurance is likely to become void.

Any cancellations not covered by the above will be subject to our standard terms and conditions and will likely include a cancellation fee.

Depending on your travel insurance provider your policy may, or may not, include coverage for any of the impacts of COVID-19; most policies do not. We would recommend checking your policy closely and getting in touch with your travel insurance provider before travelling.

Real Russia are working to ensure that all of our staff and customers remain safe throughout the current situation. Our London office is currently open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00am until 13:00pm. Please note that we are no longer accepting walk-ins, therefore you will need to book an appointment with us directly by email through visas@realrussia.co.uk or by calling us on +44 207 100 7370.

Due to recent restrictions, our visa office is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please ensure that any paper documents related to your visa application are scheduled for delivery on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday only to avoid them being returned to you.

I have further questions; how do I get in touch?

You can get in touch with Real Russia with questions about COVID-19 and its impact on travelling via the form below.

Alternatively, you can email customerservices@realrussia.co.uk with the subject ‘Coronavirus’ or COVID-19.

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