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Update – 12.11.2020


  • On Thursday November 12, Russia recorded 21,608 new cases of coronavirus in 85 Russian regions, raising the official number of positive results to 1,858,568, with 32,032 fatalities. Most of the new COVID-19 cases (5,997) were registered in Moscow, raising the total number of Muscovites with confirmed COVID-19 to 491,542, with a total number of 1,388,168 recoveries. One in three, or 31%, of cases in Russia are asymptomatic, according to official reports.
  • Moscow authorities have announced numerous new restrictions to be enforced from November 13, 2020, until January 15, 2021, including:
    • University and college students are switching to distance learning, with temporarily suspension of their transport cards
    • All restaurants, bars, clubs, and lounges that serve food and drink must close their indoor premises for business by 11 pm each day, and cannot open until 6 am the following day. Only outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery services may continue operations past 11 pm.
    • Audiences in theaters, cinemas and concert halls are restricted to 25% capacity
    • Public sports events with audiences are only permitted if given prior approval from the Moscow Department of Sports and the Russian Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing of Moscow.
    • Cultural, educational, entertainment and other similar events are temporarily suspended.
    • Children’s day care, children’s entertainment centers, children’s rooms in malls, children’s corners in catering establishments and similar places of entertainment and babysitting – provided that they are located or offering services in buildings – are temporarily closed.
  • Moscow 6-11 grade school students will continue remote education until November 22. 
  • New Year city festivities will be canceled in Moscow, including city fairs, given that 26 million people took part in the festivities in 2019.
  • Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective, according to the Health Ministry. The percentage is based on data collated from public vaccinations.
  • Only 36% of Russians are ready to vaccinate against Covid-19, according to a Center poll published on Monday, November 2. The share of Russians unwilling to vaccinate has risen to 59% in October, from nearly 54% in August. Most notably, confidence in the vaccine has decreased among Moscow residents and those with higher education. While in August, 39.6% of Muscovites said they were ready to be vaccinated, now only 31% confirm the same. Another 61% (versus 46.6% in August) said they are not ready for the vaccine. Among those with higher education, this share increased from 55% to 64%.
  • According to the preliminary forecasts of the Russian Association of Tour operators, Turkey, Zanzibar and the UAE will be the most popular holiday destinations for Russians during the winter 2020-2021 season. If Russian authorities allow additional flights to the UAE (only 4 flights per week are now available), it will become the top destination for Russian tourists.
  • S7 airlines have launched charter flights to Spain, France and Italy for foreigners that can leave Eurozone countries, and Russians who have resident permits in the above-mentioned countries. Austrian Airlines has resumed flights to Moscow on a twice weekly basis from Domodedovo airport. Starting on November 19, Aeroflot airlines will resume once a week flights to Hong Kong. Pobeda airlines (Russia’s low-cost branch of Aeroflot airlines) plans to resume flights from Moscow to Dubai from November 28.
  • The Russian government has approved the resumption of flights with a number of additional countries, as well as an increase of the frequency of flights to the Maldives (from 4 to 8 times a week) to Cuba (from 2 to 4 times a week), as well as to the United Arab Emirates, with up to 7 flights per week. Additionally, flights to the Seychelles (Victoria) will resume twice a week, and to Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), 3 times a week.


  • On Thursday, November 12, Kazakhstan recorded 587 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive cases to 118,491, with 1,899 fatalities. Coronavirus has been detected in all regions of Kazakhstan. On November 4, Vice Minister of Health, Azhar Giniyat, reported that the number of coronavirus cases in the country this week increased by 2.6 times, compared to the previous week.
  • The new Kazakhstani coronavirus vaccine has been named NARUVAX C-19, developed in the International Vaccine Center of the Kazakh Agrarian University. The vaccine is currently undergoing preclinical trials at the National Research Center for Highly Dangerous Infections.
  • The Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Committee of the Ministry of Health announced that only the East Kazakhstan region is currently in the “red” zone, with Pavlodar, Akmola and North Kazakhstan regions in the “yellow” zone, and the rest of the regions still in the “green” zone.
  • The following rules were announced to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
    • The border crossing procedure for foreigners with a residence permit in the territory of Kazakhstan and their family members, as well as foreigners who are family members of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan has changed. The respective persons can cross the border no more than once every 90 days (previously it was 30 days).
    • The visa-free regime has been suspended for citizens of 57 countries until May 1, 2021. Furthermore, until January 1, 2021, a 72-hour visa-free stay in Kazakhstan for transit passengers from China and India has been suspended.
    • Since November 9, the number of flights to Turkey has been reduced from 33 to 20 per week.


  • On Thursday, November 12, Ukraine recorded 11,057 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive cases to 500,865, with 9,145 fatalities.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday, November 9, that he tested positive for coronavirus, adding that he felt “good” and was continuing to work while self-isolating. On Thursday, November 12 he was transferred to a hospital where he holds meetings in a specially equipped room.
  • A new weekend quarantine was introduced to replace previous quarantine. It will operate from 12 am on Saturdays to 12 am on Mondays, tentatively – for three upcoming weeks. Visits to the following establishments will be prohibited.
    • catering establishments
    • shopping centers
    • cultural institutions
    • gyms
    • fitness centers
    • hospitality institutions, including hotels (except for those that perform social functions)
  • The Ministry of Health expects a high level of COVID-19 incidences, at least until April 2021. The main objective during this period is to reduce the number of coronavirus victims.
  • All planned surgeries and hospitalizations will be suspended in Ukraine due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
  • Ukraine International Airlines will resume flights from Kyiv to London Heathrow Airport from December 17, 2020. UIA will also continue to operate flights to an additional London airport, Gatwick, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. At the same time, the airline plans to operate flights to Heathrow three times a week on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Qatar Airways announced the resumption of the international program between Qatar and Ukraine from December 18, 2020. Flights will be operating from Doha to Kyiv three times a week on an Airbus A320. From January 4, 2020, another weekly flight will be added, which will increase the total flight frequency to 4 flights per week.
  • Ukraine excluded six countries from the “red” zone in the updated list of Ministry of Health dated November 6, 2020. Iceland, Ireland, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Bahrain and Kuwait were transferred to the “green” zone. At the same time, Sweden, Lithuania and Monaco were added into the “red” zone. In total, the updated “red” list includes 46 countries, of which 34 were added due to the high number of cases, and 12, due to unknown statistics. Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria are now among the tourist destinations in the red zone. The “green” zone includes the UAE, Albania, Maldives, Dominican Republic, Turkey and Egypt. 
  • Azur Air Ukraine is suspending its flight program to Dubai. Resumption of the flight program is planned from February 2021. In the expert community, this news was expected, as the volume of traffic from Ukraine to the UAE was initially too encouraging.  It is worth noting that second PCR testing on arrival to Dubai and Sharjah international airports, introduced by the UAE government, has further reduced tourist demand.


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