Foreign travel advice

Russia

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Summary

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to:

the whole of Russia based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

In addition and for security reasons, the FCDO advises against all travel to:

  • within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts

  • Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast

  • North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area)
  • the remainder of Russia based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

Travel to Russia is subject to entry restrictions

  • While the Russian government has suspended direct flights between the UK and Russia, there are a small number of direct flights from Russia to the UK. You should check with your carrier.
  • Temporary restrictions on entry and exit via Russia’s land borders remain in place
  • You should check the specific COVID-19 test requirements airlines have in place in advance of your flight
  • Anyone arriving into airports will be temperature-checked

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Return travel to the UK is subject to self-isolation requirements

If you’re returning to the UK, check the guidance on entering or returning to the UK.

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Russia, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

There has been media reports of radiation spikes linked to a disused metals factory on Kashirskoye Shosse, near to Kolomenskoe Park, Moscow. The British Embassy Moscow is monitoring the situation. Whilst it is understood that radiation levels drop off significantly within a short distance of the site, you’re advised to avoid the site and, as a precaution, the immediate surrounding area.

Following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury on 4 March 2018, there are heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia. While the British Embassy in Moscow is not aware of any increased difficulties for British people travelling to Russia, you’re advised to remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations, and avoid commenting publicly on political developments.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Russia. See Terrorism.

The UK doesn’t recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. See the Ukraine travel advice page for details.

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.

You should be aware of the risk of street crime. See Crime.

According to the Federal Agency for Tourism, British nationals made around 177,000 visits to Russia in 2016. Most visits are trouble-free.

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.

Consular support is severely limited in parts of Russia due to the security situation. The North Caucasus remains an unstable and potentially dangerous region. The Russian authorities take a particularly strict attitude towards security, as well as compliance with visa and registration rules. Short-term travel restrictions are sometimes applied in relation to ongoing security operations. These are publicised at very short notice, if at all. Cross-border traffic with Georgia and Azerbaijan is also subject to restrictions. See Local travel.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.