Health and Travel Alert – U.S. Mission Russia

Health and Travel Alert – U.S. Mission Russia (April 3, 2020)

Location:  Russia, country-wide

Event:  Daily COVID-19 Update for U.S. Citizens in the Russian Federation

Cancellation of Flight SU102: The U.S. Mission Russia is aware of the unfortunate and unexpected cancellation of Aeroflot flight 102 today.  To those of you who were boarded on that flight today only to have it cancelled moments before takeoff, we understand and share your frustration.  We had received confirmation from the Government of the Russian Federation as early as this morning that the flight would go forward as scheduled.  Despite those assurances, the Government of the Russian Federation ordered the immediate suspension of all international flights without warning.  At this point, we do not believe any international flights will be departing from the Russian Federation until further notice.

Preparing for Possible Charter Flights: Given this development, the U.S. Mission Russia team is actively working to pursue charter flight options for our fellow U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States.  These flights will require the coordination and approval of the Government of the Russian Federation.  This can be a complex process and may require several days to accomplish given the events that unfolded earlier today.  At this time, we recommend all those stranded in Moscow to seek out lodging.  In order to assist you during this complex time, we have compiled a list of available hotels in the Moscow region.  We have confirmed with these hotels that rooms are available to U.S. citizens at this time.  Please email and review the updated auto response message to view this list.

If you wish to register your interest in a possible charter flight, please follow the link below and fill out the questionnaire.  You should fill out a separate questionnaire for each member of your traveling party.  Please keep in mind that charter flights are generally more expensive than commercial options, and each traveler is responsible for the cost of their ticket.

Click here to register for a possible charter flight to the United States

Continued Communication: Also, please continue to monitor our website and ensure you are enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   We will continue to issue Health and Travel alerts on a regular basis and email you directly when we have additional information regarding charter flights.  In case of emergency, please reach out to us via the following points of contact – Emergency Contact List.

The U.S. Mission Russia team is here to support you and are working day and night to facilitate your safe return to the United States.

The Government of the Russian Federation has reportedly cancelled all international flights in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  While Aeroflot initially indicated it would continue limited flights to New York, we are following reports that Aeroflot has now suspended these flights until at least May.  All land borders remain closed to passenger transport until further notice.

The Department of State is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States.  As the Covid-19 situation develops, our ability to provide such assistance working with commercial airlines or arranging for evacuation flights may become more limited or even unavailable.  If you wish to return to the United States, you should make arrangements to do so now and contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance as needed.  There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance and transportation options to the United States may be unavailable in the future.  If you choose to remain overseas, you should be prepared to remain where you are for the foreseeable future.  Please review the Level 4: Do Not Travel, Global Health Advisory, updated on March 31, linked here.

The Mayor of Moscow announced a citywide self-isolation order, effective March 30, meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Visit the website of the Mayor of Moscow and the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.  This order mandates all individuals present in Moscow, regardless of age, self-isolate in their place of residence until further notice.

According to the published decree, leaving one’s place of residence is permitted only for the following:

  • Seeking emergency medical care or other direct threats to life and health
  • Traveling to and from work if required to do so
  • Shopping at the nearest existing store or pharmacy
  • Walking pets at a distance not to exceed 100 meters from one’s residence
  • Taking out household garbage

The mayor of Moscow further stated compliance will be monitored systemically.  A pass system will reportedly be deployed by the Moscow City government in the coming days.  Authorities require all those outside their residences to observe social distancing of 1.5 meters, with taxis being the only exception.  Individuals within Moscow found to be infected with COVID-19 but who display only mild symptoms are to be treated under the supervision of doctors at home and will receive antiviral drugs.

U.S. citizens currently located in Moscow are encouraged to follow all official City of Moscow government guidance and minimize nonessential movements through the city.  Travelers should be prepared for increased travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

Several other cities, such as Yekaterinburg, have also established similar stay at home orders.  Please check local municipal websites for the most current information.

Emergency Assistance:  U.S. citizens who need urgent assistance, or who have been ordered into quarantine, should contact the U.S. Embassy in Moscow or U.S. Consulate General Yekaterinburg at the information provided below.  U.S. citizens in the Russian Far East may also contact the Consular Agency in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk for limited emergency services at the information provided below.

Please read the most recent alerts issued by U.S. Mission Russia for more information.

Additional Actions to Take: