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24 Apr, 2020 17:16

Don’t plan foreign travel this year, advises top Russian politician amid Covid-19 spread

Don’t plan foreign travel this year, advises top Russian politician amid Covid-19 spread

If you’re in Russia, and you’re plotting a post-quarantine holiday, it might be better to reconsider. In fact, according to a top Russian politician, you shouldn’t plan to travel abroad for the rest of the year.

In an interview with TV channel Russia-24, the chair of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko, made it clear that the closed borders are unlikely to open any time soon.

“This year, you shouldn’t plan any foreign trips... But one year is not a tragedy,” she said.

According to Matviyenko, travel restrictions will be in place both in Russia and other nations for the foreseeable future. On top of that, it will take time to return air traffic control procedures between countries to normal.

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On March 26, the Russian government halted all international passenger flights into the country, except for those repatriating Russian citizens who had been stuck abroad. Flights expatriating foreigners from Russia need to be individually approved.

In response to the drop in tourism figures, Matviyenko explained that the state has taken steps to support the nation’s tourist industry, and believes domestic tourism will receive a boost when the epidemic is over. “As soon as the situation permits, citizens will [be able to] travel around their country. They will get to know their country better,” she said.

With no international passenger flights, and therefore no foreign visitors coming to Russia, the national tourist agency, Rostourism, claims that the tourist industry is missing out on at least 300 billion rubles (US$4.03 billion) per quarter.

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