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Russia Intends to Lift Land Border Restrictions in Mid-July

By Vusala Abbasova July 4, 2022

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On June 14, Russia lifted restrictions on the entry of foreign citizens arriving by air and sea, but a number of restrictions on land arrivals continued to remain in effect. / Reuters

Russia continues to gradually lift travel restrictions two years after closing its borders due to the pandemic.

In a statement issued by Russia’s anti-coronavirus crisis center on Monday, the government unveiled its plans to reopen the land border starting from July 15. The decision was made considering the improved situation with the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“Following the results of the crisis center’s discussion, a decision was made to lift the epidemic-related temporary restrictions on crossing the state border of the Russian Federation starting on July 15, 2022,” the statement said.

On June 14, Russia lifted restrictions on the entry of foreign citizens arriving by air and sea, but a number of restrictions on land arrivals continued to remain in effect.

Moreover, Russia is canceling the Covid-19 testing requirement for air travelers holding a Belarusian passport starting from mid-July. Citizens of other countries will still need to present negative Covid-19 test results. Earlier, the Covid-19 testing requirement was canceled for Belarusian nationals entering Russia by train and by road.

Russia sealed off its borders in mid-March 2020 as a precautionary measure to try to stop the spread of coronavirus. The closure of the country’s land border was applied to all foreigners passing through those border points for tourism, study, work or private visits.

Although Russia has the world’s eighth-highest number of Covid-19 cases with more than 18.4 million confirmed cases, the country has begun the process of selectively re-opening its land borders with a range of countries. Starting in late March, Russian authorities reopened borders with Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Russia has gone through five Covid-19 waves since the pandemic began, with the latest peak of nearly 204,000 cases recorded on February 11.

According to the data issued by Russia’s anti-coronavirus crisis center on Monday, the world’s largest country reported almost 2,900 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, more than 560 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 over the day, and 43 died. The number of hospitalized patients decreased in 45 regions, while the situation remained unchanged in 14 regions.

Moscow, the epicenter of the pandemic within Russia, dropped many of its remaining Covid-19 regulations including a citywide mask mandate in mid-March.