Last updated: 05/11/2021
- 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 countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As 11 May, the Government of the Russian Federation has reported 4,896,842 cumulative cases of coronavirus and 113,976 attributed fatalities. Medical services have generally been able to provide adequate care for serious cases of COVID-19. 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- Although the Russian government has rescinded most orders to halt the spread of the virus, the risk of infection remains pervasive and U.S. citizens in Russia should continue to follow CDC recommendations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and government institutions are largely operating as normal; most restrictions to slow the spread of the virus have been revoked.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 Russia? 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
- Are vaccines available in the Russian Federation for U.S. citizens to receive? No.
- Which vaccines are available in the Russian Federation? Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, CoviVac
- The Russian government has approved three domestically-developed and produced vaccines 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 vaccines and their availability is here.
- The Embassy has heard reports that U.S. citizens have successfully received COVID-19 vaccines in the Russian Federation, however, officially, COVID-19 vaccines in Russia remain available only to Russian citizens.
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
- The U.S. 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.
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.
- If you are a U.S. citizen present in Russia and your visa has expired, we strongly urge you to depart Russia before the June 15 deadline set by the Russian government. If you plan to remain in Russia past this deadline, please visit your local Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) office to start the necessary paperwork as recently suggested by MVD. Embassy Moscow is unable to answer any specific questions about Russian residency or Russian visas, as this process is managed entirely by the Russian government.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, Germany, Greece, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, Serbia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. 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 had previously resumed, the Russian government has temporarily suspended flights to the UK through June 16, 2021 and to Tanzania and Turkey until June 1, 2021.
- For information on quarantine requirements upon arrival to the United States, please see the CDC website.
- 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.
Reduction of Consular Services – Effective May 12, U.S. Embassy Moscow will reduce consular services due to the Russian government’s April 23 notification prohibiting the U.S. Embassy Moscow from employing foreign nationals in any capacity. Embassy Moscow will not offer routine notarial services, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, or renewal passport services for the foreseeable future. Consular services at U.S. Consulates General Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok remain suspended. US Embassy Moscow will process a very limited number of age-out and life or death emergency immigrant visas; non-immigrant visa processing for non-diplomatic travel will cease. We regret that the actions of the Russian government have forced us to reduce our consular work force by 75%, and endeavor to offer to U.S. citizens as many services as possible.
In light of the staffing constraints and the continuing COVID pandemic, U.S. Embassy in Moscow can process passport renewals only in the following circumstances:
- U.S. citizens resident in Russia who require a new U.S. passport to remain in compliance with Russian immigration law
- A demonstrable, life-or-death emergency requiring immediate travel to the U.S. (booking travel with an expired U.S. passport does not qualify).
If you meet the criteria above, you can request an emergency appointment by emailing MoscowACS@state.gov. In the e-mail, please include the following information:
- If renewing, a scanned copy of the U.S. passport to be renewed
- Scanned copy of your Russian visa OR explanation of your emergency situation, with supporting documentation (such as letter from doctor).
- If a first-time applicant, scans of citizenship evidence such as a U.S. birth certificate
- Copies of both parents’ passports in the case of minor applicants
- Purpose of travel
- Intended dates of travel
- Your country of residence
The e-mail subject line should read: Emergency Passport Appointment Request – (Applicant’s name) – (Applicant’s date of birth), for example, Emergency Passport Appointment Request – John Doe – 01 January 1980.