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Coronavirus (COVID19) travel information and advice

If you are planning to travel within the next few weeks, you will no doubt have some questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on those plans.

To try and help answer your questions, we have put together some of the questions which your fellow travellers are asking most.

LAST REVIEWED: 30th April 2020

LAST UPDATED: 30th April 2020

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

By Russian government decree, all international travel to Russia will be temporarily suspended.

This is likely to impact anyone travelling within the next few months.

If this impacts your travel plans, we will get in touch with you as soon as possible. We have many customers who were supposed to travel in the coming weeks, so please bear with us as we work through this list.

We will be monitoring this situation closely, and if anything changes, we will update this webpage and be in touch with anyone affected by the changes.

Mongolia

Mongolia is currently limiting travel in the short term.

Until the 31st May there will be:

  • No international flights or trains
  • No entry for any foreign citizens

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

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.

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.

For the safety of our team, we are all currently working remotely. Unfortunately, this means that it is currently difficult to take phone calls. Where possible, please only contact us by live chat or email. We apologise for this inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding.

If you have an emergency, our 24-hour helpline will still be 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 still, it may be possible to return home.

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.

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.

Depending on your travel insurance provider your policy may, or may not, include coverage for any of the impacts of COVID-19. 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.

Due to this, our London office will be closed to visitors starting from 24th March 2020 until further notice. We will be continually reviewing the best course of action for our London team, and will update our website and channels as we know more.

Our team will still be available by live chat, email and over the phone between 05:00 GMT and 15:00 GMT, Monday to Friday.

In this time, we will collect and return all passports that are still at the Russian Consulate. We will be in touch with anyone affected by this to assess the best way to return your passport to you, as collection will not be available.

It is still possible to apply online for your visa, but please do not send any documents or passports to us unless requested by our visa team.

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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