Russia Resumes Flights with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea

Russia has resumed flights to neighboring Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and will resume flights to South Korea from Sept. 27, a government decree said Saturday, The Moscow Times reported.

Citizens and permanent residents of these countries will be permitted to enter Russia through air checkpoints, and Russians will be able to enter these countries without restrictions as well. The weekly flights will connect Russia to the capital cities of Minsk, Nur-Sultan, Bishkek and Seoul.

Russia grounded most international flights and introduced entry restrictions for foreign nationals in late March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, connections with Britain, Turkey, Tanzania, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives have been restored.

While Russia resumed flights with Zurich and Geneva from Aug. 18, Switzerland has not yet relaxed its entry ban for Russian nationals. Only holders of Swiss permanent residency, students and medical tourists from Russia are allowed entry.

Most Russian nationals are still barred from entering the European Union and the same rule applies to Europeans wishing to visit Russia. The exceptions are Greece and Poland, which allow Russians to make two-week visits.

Over 92,000 Russians have been evacuated from abroad since global coronavirus restrictions were introduced and flights halted. While many more are estimated to remain outside of the country, the authorities decided to stop all evacuation flights from Sept. 21, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia has the world’s fourth-highest coronavirus caseload with more than 1.1 million infections since the start of the pandemic.