At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist are available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You can normally bring prescription and over the counter medication into Russia for personal use. However, if your medication contains narcotic or psychoactive substances (details available on the Rossiyskaya Gazeta website in Russian), you must carry a prescription in your name which has been translated into Russian and then notarised. Notarisation services in the UK are available from a Notary Public.
If you’re unsure whether you need to provide a prescription and notarised translation to bring your medicines into Russia, check with the Russian Embassy before you travel.
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in Russia, and the reciprocal healthcare agreement between the UK and Russia ended on 1 January 2016.
Medical care in most areas of Russia is below Western standards. Hospitals do not accept all cases, and require cash or credit card payments at Western rates in advance of treatment. Disposable IV supplies, syringes and needles are standard practice in urban areas; however if you plan to travel in remote areas, you may wish to bring your own supplies.
The UNAIDS Data 2018 Report estimated that around 1 million people in Russia are living with HIV. The prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.7% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage rate in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. Due to uncertainties with the local blood supply, non-essential and elective surgeries are not recommended.
Air quality in Moscow varies and can worsen in certain weather conditions. You should monitor local media and the website for Moscow Emercom (in Russian) for more information.
112 is the single number for any emergency service in Russia.