The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to the whole of Russia due to the lack of available flight options to return to the UK, and the increased volatility in the Russian economy.
If your presence in Russia is not essential, we strongly advise that you consider leaving by remaining commercial routes.
On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a large scale invasion of Ukraine which is ongoing. International and domestic response to this action is affecting conditions within Russia and for those traveling to Russia in a number of ways.
If you are in Russia, it will not be possible to fly directly to the UK, or via EU countries. Check the latest information with your airline or travel provider. Connecting flights, largely via the Middle East, Serbia and Turkey are operational for travel from Russia to the UK and other destinations. However, demand is currently high and flights may sell out quickly.
In May 2022, the UK government designated Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines, Ural Airlines and Russian Railways for the purposes of UK sanctions. This means that British nationals and others who are bound by UK sanctions are prohibited from entering into transactions which result in making funds directly or indirectly available to these companies, such as purchasing tickets from them. On 23 May 2022, the Office for Financial Sanctions Implementation issued a general licence which means that for journeys originating in, or within, Russia, British nationals may purchase tickets from these companies without breaching UK sanctions.
On 4 March 2022, the Russian parliament passed laws imposing severe restrictions on the publishing and distribution of information related to the Russian armed forces and any military operations. People charged under these laws face heavy sentences. See IT and social media on the Local laws and customs page.
On 21 September 2022, Russia declared a “partial” mobilisation of Russian citizens to join the military forces. British nationals holding Russian passports should be aware that they may be in scope for mobilisation or conscription, as the Russian government does not recognise dual nationality for Russian nationals in Russia and treats dual nationals as Russian nationals.
There have been numerous reports of explosions and fires in areas near the Russian border with Ukraine. The wider situation remains unpredictable and could further escalate without warning.
Political rallies and demonstrations can occur in Moscow, St Petersburg and other places across Russia. Check the local media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations. See Political situation
There are reports of increased police presence and ID checks. You should keep your passport with you at all times. See Safety and security
Short-term travel restrictions are sometimes applied in relation to ongoing security operations. These are publicised at very short notice, if at all. See Local travel
If you need consular assistance call the British Embassy Moscow +7 495 956 7200 and then select the option for consular assistance. Phone lines are answered 24 hours a day. You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.
If you decide to remain in Russia, keep your departure plans under constant review and ensure your travel documents are up to date. Monitor the media and this travel advice regularly and subscribe to email alerts.
Consular support is severely limited in parts of Russia due to the security situation and the size of the country. The North Caucasus remains an unstable and potentially dangerous region. Russian authorities take a particularly strict attitude towards security, as well as compliance with visa and registration rules.
The UK does not recognise Crimea, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions as being part of Russia. See the travel advice for Ukraine for details.
The UK government has imposed sanctions against a range of Russian companies and individuals and imposed other finance, trade and transport sanctions in relation to Russia. These sanctions may have an effect on transactions in, or connected with, Russia. More information about Russia sanctions is available on GOV.UK including on the application of sanctions prohibitions and requirements to British nationals.
MasterCard and Visa have suspended operations in Russia. This means that MasterCard and Visa cards issued outside of Russia will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs. Cards issued inside Russia continue to work in Russia but they will not work outside of Russia. Be aware that it may not be possible for you to access your funds through Russian banks or to make payments to Russian businesses with non-Russian credit/debit cards.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Russia. See Terrorism.
Small earth tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.