Russia Decides To Close Air Borders As Pandemic Widens

Credit: Joe Pries

Russia is to become the latest nation to sever international air links to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Mar. 25 meeting of Russian government ministers and officials instructed aviation regulator Rosaviatsia to halt all international scheduled and charter flights from midnight Mar. 27, 2020, except for repatriation flights or flights specifically ordered by the Russian government.

By the same day, details of all Russian citizens wishing to return home should be provided to the transport, interior and health ministries, as well as to flag-carrier Aeroflot.

The transport, foreign affairs and defense ministries, together with the office of the president, will then formulate a plan to bring home all Russian citizens, using aircraft from Aeroflot, Rossiya, other airlines, plus military aircraft.

All citizens will be screened for infection when they land in Russia and will be instructed to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.