As summer vacations seem to be starting over much of Europe, Russia has still not opened its borders to international travellers and charters to the Mediterranean, the main destinations for most Russian families have still not been opened. This is partly due to the continued number of daily infections, which means that many countries, including the EU bloc have still not opened their borders to Russians, but also the Russian authorities are reluctant to allow mass travel, until the spread of the virus to regional cities starts to slow.

Airlines appear to be more optimistic than the tour operators association called ATOR. A provisional list of countries where flights will initially start has been proposed, but none of them are major tourist destinations and some do not have reciprocal agreements with Russia. In the meantime, some Russians who are desperate to travel look at local options or try to fly to Belarus, where they can take charter flights to Turkey, Egypt, Albania and Montenegro. No doubt during the next 2-3 weeks, the situation will become a lot clearer.

Helene Lloyd

15 July 2020, Moscow


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