Russia to ease Covid travel restrictions with 52 ‘friendly’ countries
Russia has announced that it will end Covid-related flight restrictions to and from 52 countries from 9 April, following an announcement by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin
The country will resume flights to and from a range of countries including Algeria, Argentina, China, Lebanon, Peru, Pakistan and South Africa, as part of plans to ease the severe pandemic-era travel restrictions imposed in March 2020. In addition, restrictions on travel via the land border with China will also be eased from the same date.
“The infection rate is declining, which means it's time to expand the destinations available to our Russian airlines,” said Mishustin.
However, air travel to and from Russia remains restricted across much of the world, following the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
Following the attack – which as of 2 April has led to at least 3,455 civilian casualties in the country according to figures by the United Nations the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – the US, UK, Canada and all the European Union (EU) have closed their airspace to Russian aircraft of all types. In response to the sanctions, Russia has closed its airspace to airlines from 36 countries, including from all 27 member states of the EU.
Easing remaining Covid restrictions with countries which have not directly opposed the war in Ukraine could provide Russia with alternative international travel routes at a time when airspace over most Western nations remains closed to travellers from the country.