COVID-19 Information

Last updated:  09/15/2020

Country-Specific Information:

  • 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 of 15 September, the Government of the Russian Federation has reported 1,073,849 cumulative cases of coronavirus and 18,785 attributed fatalities. The number of new confirmed cases daily, however, has been decreasing since March. Medical services have generally been able to provide adequate care for serious cases of COVID-19, especially in larger cities. Nonetheless, 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  • Although the Russian government has rescinded most orders to halt the spread of the virus, the risk of infection remains pervasive and U.S. citizens in Russia should continue to follow CDC recommendations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and government institutions are largely operating as normal; most restrictions to slow the spread of the virus have been revoked.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.  Schools and universities are operating as normal.  Some jurisdictions place limitations on large gatherings and mass events.
  • 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.

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 a grace period on immigration documents, including visas, residence permits, and migration registration until September 15, 2020. Documents that expire during this period are automatically extended until September 15, 2020.  For work permits, employers may apply to extend their validity.  The Russian Government has not clarified procedures for handling expiring documents beyond September 15, 2020.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information:

  • 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 nearly all limits on people, businesses, and educational and public institutions.  Requirements for self-isolation and digital passes have been withdrawn.  Moscow city authorities also no longer require wearing a mask while walking on the street.
  • 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 city of Moscow requires all travelers to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.  Visit the website of the city of Moscow for additional information on these measures.
  • The Moscow Department of Health maintains a hotline for further information and updates +7 495 870-45-09.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • 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.

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
    • The Russian Government is allowing regular international flights to resume, but only to destinations that have met benchmarks for containing the spread of COVID-19. 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.  In addition, flights from Moscow to Istanbul on Turkish Airways and to London on British Airways have restarted.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    • Wearing a mask and 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.

Consular Operations:

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg are only accepting passport requests for urgent travel to return to the United States and for other emergency situations. Routine services have been suspended.  The safety of U.S. citizens is our top priority.
  • All requests for emergency U.S. passport appointments must be sent to 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
    • If a first-time applicant, citizenship evidence such as a U.S. birth certificate
    • Copies of both parents’ passports in the case of minor applicants
    • Purpose of travel
    • Destination
    • 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.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates have suspended visa services until further notice. Consulate General Yekaterinburg has begun to accept a limited number of interview waiver visa applications for C1/D and F non-immigrant visas ONLY.  At this time, we are neither accepting nor processing applications for other immigrant or non-immigrant visa categories.

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