Last updated: 02/17/2021
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
For information on testing locations and requesting a waiver for this requirement in the event of an emergency, please click here.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy Moscow advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Russia. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in the Russian Federation have limited capacity to assist U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency.
- The Russian Federation is one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 17 February, the Government of the Russian Federation has reported 4,112,151, cumulative cases of coronavirus and 81,446 attributed fatalities. Russia has experienced a resurgence of cases, which have grown quickly since September. Medical services have generally been able to provide adequate care for serious cases of COVID-19, but have come under new strain as the number of daily new cases reaches record levels. The healthcare system in Russia faces limitations and adequate care may not be available everywhere.
- Although the Russian government has rescinded most orders to halt the spread of the virus, the risk of infection remains pervasive and U.S. citizens in Russia should continue to follow CDC recommendations for preventing infection.
- Businesses, transportation, and government institutions are largely operating as normal; most restrictions to slow the spread of the virus have been revoked. As a result, products and services are widely available as before the start of the pandemic. Grocery stores are well stocked and operating normal hours. Some jurisdictions place limitations on large gatherings and mass events.
- On October 28th, the government of the Russian Federation reinstated a requirement to wear masks in crowded public areas, including public transportation, taxis, parking lots, and elevators. This order applies to the entire country.
- Measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 vary widely, as individual regions and cities set their own policies. Travelers should check with the local government in their region for current restrictions. Travelers should comply with all government restrictions/requirements regarding the spread of COVID-19.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Russa? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
- For information on limited humanitarian exemptions, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html
- Testing in widely available in Russia, both through government healthcare providers and private clinics. Testing is free at government healthcare providers for those suspected of having coronavirus. In Moscow, residents of Russia who have mandatory medical insurance may schedule a free test at any time at one of 207 government healthcare providers in Moscow that provide testing. Private clinics also provide COVID testing on a fee-basis. Results are delivered electronically or on paper, depending on the clinic.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of the Russian Federation approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- The Russian government has approved its domestically-developed and produced Sputnik V vaccine for use in the country. The government is currently undertaking a program of mass vaccinations for Russian citizens, starting with priority groups and gradually expanding access. Information about the vaccine and availability is here.
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No
- The Government of the Russian Federation banned the entry of foreign nationals, including American citizens, with a few exceptions.
- The ban does not apply to: airplane crew members, permanent residents of the Russian Federation who hold a valid residence permit, or transit passengers. In addition, the Russian government allows entry of foreigners for medical treatment or in order to care for relatives in Russia.
- U.S. citizens who qualify as a “high-qualified specialist” on specific categories of work visas are allowed to enter Russia with the proper visa document. They should coordinate with their employer in Russia in obtaining this type of visa.
- U.S. citizens who hold a tourist visa and have family members in Russia (spouse, children, parents, etc.) are generally NOT allowed to enter under the current rules regarding Covid-19. They should reach out to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, DC, for their request to be considered.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
- The Russian government requires that all foreign travelers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result upon arrival, dated no later than three days prior to arrival in Russia. The results can be in English and/or digital. Foreign travelers must also complete the attached form (PDF, 210Kb), print, and present to customs upon arrival in Russia
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- Mandatory temperature screenings and other diagnostic and protective measures are being implemented at international airports and other major transit hubs.
- The Russian government has extended the temporary stay or permanent residency of foreigners and stateless persons in the Russian Federation until June 15, 2021. The decree applies to immigration documents, including visas, residence permits, and migration registration that have expired or will expire between March 15, 2020, and June 15, 2021. For work permits, employers may apply to extend their validity. The Russian government has not clarified procedures for handling expiring documents beyond June 15, 2021. The official text of the decree may be found here. (Russian only)
- The decree contains additional language limiting the extension to March 15, 2021, for citizens of certain countries. However, per the Ministry of Internal Affairs website, the United States is not included in this list of countries. A further explanation of the presidential decree and the list of countries whose citizens’ visas are only extended until March 15, 2021 is available here. (Russian only)
- The decree also contains new language that these extensions do not apply to individuals supporting “terrorist/extremist activity or attempts against public order and public security, including those who participate in an unauthorized meeting, rally, demonstration, march, or picketing.” The Russian government has not clearly defined who would be subject to such designations.
- Is a curfew in place? No
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
- Anyone testing positive for COVID in Russia is required to quarantine at their place of residence. We strongly recommend that all U.S. citizens in Russia comply with all requested measures.
- The Russian Federation no longer requires all travelers to quarantine for 14 days directly after arrival in Russia. Local jurisdictions set their own rules regarding quarantine requirements for travelers arriving in the country. Check with local authorities for current requirements.
- The federal non-working period, which was implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, has ended and the government lifted most restrictions. Individual regions, however, set their own rules regarding self-isolation, opening of businesses, and movement of people, based on conditions in each region. Please check with the local government for current restrictions.
- Despite the official easing of public restrictions and limitations, however, the threat of COVID-19 infection and spread remains serious and prevalent. We encourage all U.S. citizens to continue practices that help protect against and slow the spread of COVID-19. Wear masks at all times in public places, and anywhere you cannot maintain more than six feet of distance from others. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid crowded places and crowded means of transport. For a more comprehensive lists of practices to keep yourself and others safe, please visit www.cdc.gov.
- The city of Moscow has removed most limits on people, businesses, and educational and public institutions. The city of Moscow recommends that businesses have 30 percent of employees telework to prevent the spread of the virus. In Moscow, anyone 65 years or older is required to self-isolate.
- In Moscow, wearing a mask and gloves remains mandatory on public transportation, in stores, or inside any building open to the public. The city government still advises everyone to maintain a 1.5 meter distance from others at all times. These requirements apply to U.S. citizens and violators can be fined.
- The Moscow Department of Health maintains a hotline for further information and updates +7 495 870-45-09.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- The Russian Government is allowing regular international flights to resume to certain countries, including to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, Serbia, South Korea, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates. Limited numbers of flights are available to other locations. Air travel remains erratic and subject to cancellations. Aeroflot continues to have weekly flights from Moscow to New York.
- Although regular international flights between Russia and the United Kingdom had previously resumed, the Russian government has temporarily suspended flights to the UK through March 16.
- Passengers arriving to the US via air are required to comply with CDC guidelines for self-quarantine after arrival. The CDC currently recommends to get tested 3-5 days after arrival and self-quarantine at home for 7 days. Alternatively, the CDC recommends a 10 day quarantine if you chose not to be tested 3-5 days after arrival. These requirements apply to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Wearing a mask is required on public transportation throughout the country. In addition, wearing gloves remains mandatory on public transportation in Moscow.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- Violation of an order to self-isolate may result in a fine of 4,000-5,000 rubles. If the violation leads to mass spread of disease or death, the violator may be prosecuted under Russian law and sentenced to up to seven years in prison. A smartphone app automatically monitors compliance with these orders. Regions and cities set their own fines for violating rules on social distancing, wearing masks, etc. In Moscow, individuals not wearing masks and gloves on public transportation or in stores may be fined 5,000 rubles.
- The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg have limited citizenship services available due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Routine consular services at U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok remain suspended. The safety of U.S. citizens is our top priority.
- The U.S. Embassy in Moscow will process passport renewals for U.S. citizens whose passports are expired and for those U.S. citizens who require a valid U.S. passport to remain in compliance with Russian immigration law. Due to ongoing staffing constraints and COVID-19 restrictions, our ability to offer these appointments will be very limited and we ask for your continued patience.
- All requests for U.S. passport appointments must be sent to MoscowACS@state.gov.
- In the email, please include the following information:
- If renewing, a scanned copy of the U.S. passport to be renewed
- If a first-time applicant, citizenship evidence such as a U.S. birth certificate
- The email subject line should read: Passport Appointment Request – (Applicant’s name) – (Applicant’s date of birth), for example, Passport Appointment Request – John Doe – 01 January 1980.
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates have suspended visa services until further notice. Both the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the Consulate General in Yekaterinburg currently process only a limited number of C1/D, F, M, P-1, and P-4 visa applications without an interview. At this time, we are neither accepting nor processing applications for other immigrant or non-immigrant visa categories.
- Updates from the government of the Russian Federation
- City of Moscow Coronavirus information
- Other links: