Coronavirus (COVID19) travel information and advice

If you need a fast, affordable and reliable COVID-19 PCR test from a UK government approved supplier to travel to Russia, please click here.

During this time, please do not send any documents to us unless specifically asked, as we will be unable to process them. If you have any questions or concerns about an application, please contact our visa team at visas@realrussia.co.uk

Latest news:

31st January – As of 11th February, If you arrive in England after 4am, the following rules will apply:  

If you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on arrival. You will also not need to take a COVID-19 test before you leave but will need to complete a passenger locator form.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 48 hours before travelling to England. You will also need to book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test to be taken in England once you arrive. You will need to book the test before you travel. You will not need to quarantine, unless the result of the PCR test is positive.

 

6th January 2022 – From 4am on Sunday 9th January, fully vaccinated travellers and children over 5 will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on or before Day 2 of their arrival in England. Lateral flow tests for travel can be booked from Friday 7th January and taken upon arrival, by the end of Day 2. If you take a lateral flow test and test positive, you will need to self-isolate and take a free PCR test.

Fully vaccinated passengers and those under the age of 18 will no longer need to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England from 4am on Friday 7th January, but must continue to take post-arrival tests.

Please note: You cannot use a lateral flow test until after 4am on Sunday 9th January, prior to this, you must use a PCR test after arrival.

 

8th December – Travellers visiting Russia from the UK now need to provide PCR-test certificates taken no earlier than 48 hours before they enter Russia.

 

6th December – From 4am on Tuesday 7th December, all travellers aged 12 years and over must take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.

 

28th November – From 28th November 2021, entry to Russia will be closed to official residents of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini, Tanzania, Hong Kong, and for those who have visited or been within these countries 10 days prior entering Russia. This is due to the detection of a new COVID-19 strain – Omicron. Passport holders of these countries resident in the UK cannot apply for a Russian visa at this time.

Travellers coming to Russia from the following countries will require express testing:

  • China
  • Israel
  • United Kingdom and Northern Ireland

If you are a UK citizen, please visit the Russia travel advice page on the .Gov website for more information.

 

30th September – From 4:00 on Monday 4th October, the current traffic light system in the UK will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories. Testing requirements will be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travellers, who will no longer need to take a PDT when travelling to England. Russia is currently on the UK Amber list and is therefore set to move to the Non-Red list on this date.

To be considered ‘fully vaccinated’, passengers will need to have a minimum of two doses of either one or a combination of the following approved vaccines: 

  • Oxford/ AstraZeneca 
  • Pfizer BioNTech 
  • Moderna 
  • Janssen 

Please note: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is currently not on the approved list.

England will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from a host of new countries – who will be treated like returning fully vaccinated UK travellers.  
Passengers who aren’t considered ‘fully vaccinated’ with an authorised vaccine (Oxford/ AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen) and certificates under England’s international travel rules, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a Day 2 and Day 8 PCR test, and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country. Test to Release will remain for unvaccinated passengers who want to shorten their isolation period. 
All passengers will still need to fill in a passenger locator form ahead of travel. 
 
From the end of October, a plan is in place for fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from non-red countries to replace their Day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. 

Travellers should continue to check FCDO travel advice before booking travel.

 

4th September – the Russian authorities no longer require travellers arriving from the UK to observe a 14 day quarantine period.

 

28th July – As of 4am on 2nd August, fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and the US will not have to quarantine when arriving in England, Scotland and Wales from an Amber list country. Travellers must have received two jabs with vaccines authorised by either the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to qualify, with the travel regulations being reviewed on a country by country basis. The UK traffic list is also set to be reviewed on 5th August.

For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-travel-update-government-waives-quarantine-for-arrivals-fully-vaccinated-from-europe-and-usa-while-also-confirming-international-cruise-restart

 

Countries that can enter Russia

Russia has now relaxed its coronavirus entry requirements to give citizens from a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, more options to cross its borders.

Citizens from countries with which Russia has resumed regular air traffic can enter Russia via a flight from either their own country of citizenship or any of the other countries. Although direct flights between Russia and the UK are suspended until at least 1st June 2021, this will mean British citizens can enter Russia via a connecting flight from one of the designated third countries.

The full list of these countries is determined by the Russian Government and includes:

  • Andora
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Lichtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Slovak Republic
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania (limited transit options, temporary travel ban from 15th April to 17th August 2021 inclusive)
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • United States
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

The Russian Visa Application Centre in London is still accepting all types of Russian visa however applicants need to be aware that flights may be postponed depending on the current coronavirus situation and lockdown regulations in the UK.

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


Quarantine rules for UK arrivals

All British and Irish citizens and UK residents who have not been fully vaccinated with approved vaccines and 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 

 

LAST REVIEWED: 31st January 2022

LAST UPDATED: 31st January 2022

Frequently asked questions

 

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

The Russian Visa Application Center is currently still open and can accept new visa applications, although please be aware that the 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.

The Russian Migration Authorities accept documents for Russian Business Letters of Invitation (visa support documents).

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 4981.

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.