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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: 27th March 2020

LAST UPDATED: 26th March 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. No new visa applications will be accepted by the visa application centre until 6th May 2020.

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 after 6th May.

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 you already have a visa application in process with the entry and/or exit dates after 1st May 2020, your visa will be processed as usual; though we are awaiting confirmation from the visa application centre when we will be able to collect completed visas from them.

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 30th April 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 suspended from 18th March to the 1st May.

This will impact anyone travelling within these dates.

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.

All bookings from the 1st May onwards will remain unchanged.

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 30th April there will be:

  • No flights between Mongolia and Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • All international and domestic rail services will be suspended.

Until the end of March:

  • There will be no flights between Mongolia and China, Japan or South Korea.

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.

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.

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.

The World Health Organisation have comprehensive guidance on the best protective measures against the spread of COVID-19, whether at home or travelling abroad.

You can find them here.

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 World Health Organisation have advised that COVID-19 should not stop people from travelling. We have many customers still travelling now, and many will be doing the same over the coming weeks and months.

We are continuing to monitor all official announcements regarding COVID-19 and will update all customers as and when the official advice changes. If you do have something booked with us at this time, one of our travel specialists will be in touch with your directly to outline your options.

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.

We are currently not aware of any closures of major tourist attractions, restaurants or bars. You will be able to enjoy your trip as you would normally.

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 17:00 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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