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Update 20.08.2020


  • On Thursday, August 20th, Russia recorded 4,785 new cases of coronavirus in 83 Russian regions, raising the official number of positive results to 942,106 with 16,099 fatalities. Most of the new COVID-19 cases (688) were registered in Moscow, raising the total number of Muscovites with confirmed COVID-19 to 255,136. In the meantime, a total number of 755,513 Russian patients are known to have recovered. According to Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection, 20% of residents in 7 regions have developed an immunity to the virus: Moscow and the wider Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Leningrad, Tatarstan, Astrakhan and Tyumen regions.
  • Moscow authorities do not plan to hold public events on the City Day, which will traditionally take place on September 5th. This was stated by the capital’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin on August 13th, after close assessment of the current situation.
  • In Moscow, a number of shops and restaurants have received disciplinary fines for non-compliance with the mask regime, over 450M Rubles (6,129,000 USD) in total, as reported by Moscow Department of Trade and Services. Over 45K public catering businesses and services were inspected within the period from May 12th to August 11thwith over 8K of them being fined.
  • According to the analytical service of international audit and consulting network FinExpertiza, COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe damage to Russian businesses, with a drop of 67% in total profit from March-May 2020 on an annual basis (excluding small businesses). This decrease is recorded as an all-time low for the spring months in the past 16 years. Previously, the lowest drop indicator was in 2017, when the profits of Russian companies fell by 28%.
  • On August 19th, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced the allocation of 3 Billion Rubles for re-training programmes for Russian citizens who have lost their jobs due to restrictive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is planned that over 100K people will be able to get a more attractive profession or additional education,” Mishustin said.
  • India is negotiating with Russia and 12 other countries to resume flights in and out of Russia, according to Indian Civil Aviation Minister Shri Hardeep S Puri. “We propose to create ’air corridors’ for the movement of citizens who find themselves in a difficult situation. Negotiations are underway with Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand”, the minister announced. The negotiations currently concern only repatriation flights, since the restrictions imposed in the country due to COVID-19 are valid until at least August 31st.
  • Flight connections via Istanbul have given a possibility for tourists who want to travel to visit the countries that are open to Russian citizens. To date, Russia has lifted restrictions for tourists travelling to Turkey, Great Britain, Tanzania and Switzerland. In addition, several countries plan to allow entry for Russians: Croatia, Montenegro, Egypt, the UAE, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Kenya and the Maldives. With a stopover in Istanbul, tourists can travel to Egypt – for example, Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus Airlines flies to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh several times a week. Turkish Airlines’ schedule offers 10 flights to Cairo and 4 flights to Alexandria daily, as well as 4 flights to Zagreb (Croatia), 3 flights to Nairobi (Kenya), 5 flights to Podgorica (Montenegro) weekly.
  • According to the research performed by online travel booking service OneTwoTrip, Russian travelers are most interested to apply for visas to three destinations – Italy, the US and Spain. According to analysts, over 35.5% of surveyed Russians plan to apply for a visa in 2020. Among them, 13% would like to go to Italy, 10% to the US and 9% to Spain. Japan, Great Britain and Austria also turned out to be popular vacation destinations, with 5% of respondents interested in visas for these countries. As for Greece, France and Finland, 4% of respondents plan to travel to these countries and another 8% would like to receive a Schengen visa without yet decided which country they want to visit.


  • On Thursday, August 20th, Kazakhstan recorded 244 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive cases to 103,815, with 1415 fatalities.
  • The State Commission chaired by Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin announced the plan for the phased lifting of quarantine restrictions, taking into account the current epidemiological situation. During the period of strict quarantine measures, from July 5th to August 17th in Kazakhstan, the epidemiological situation was stabilised and the burden on medical organisations was significantly reduced. The State Commission, having considered the proposals of regional governors, and the suggestions of the Kazakh Health Ministry and other departments, approved the plan for the phased lifting of quarantine restrictions and adopted a number of in-line decisions. The Commission approved a list of business entities, which would be allowed to open in all regions of the country starting August 17th, including:
    • Public transport operations, resuming from August 17th, with occupancy according to the number of seats, as well as ventilation and disinfection stations at terminal stops.
    • Shopping centres, malls, retails chains, indoor markets (occupancy rate not exceeding 30% or four sq. m per visitor). Meanwhile, at least 80% of employees remain in the remote form of work
    • Beauty and hairdressing salons, SPA centres, facilities providing cosmetic services (four sq. m per visitor and by appointment only).
    • Fitness centres, except swimming pools (50% occupancy rate, 5 sq.m. per visitor) and saunas except swimming pools (50% occupancy rate, 4 sq.m per visitor).
    • Children’s correction-and-development centres, children’s and adult education centres (groups limited to 5 people and by appointment only).
    • On-call groups of pre-school institutions (limited to 15 people).
    • Outdoor attractions (prevention measures apply, including social distancing, face masks and reduced occupancy).
    • Employers are advised to maintain a remote work format for at least 80% of employees per office.
  • The Kazakh authorities allowed a phase in of international flights from August 17th, as laid out in a eport from the Civil Aviation Committee. According to a decision of the Interdepartmental Commission to Prevent the Emergence and Spread of Coronavirus Infection, foreign flights from Kazakhstan are permitted to the UAE, Egypt, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • Kazakhstan opened air traffic with a number of countries, which were divided into three categories.
    • The first category includes the following countries: China, South Korea, Japan, Georgia, Thailand, Hungary, India, Germany, Czech Republic, Malaysia, UAE, Belarus, Turkey, Egypt, Ukraine, Netherlands, Russia. Those arriving from these countries will be subjected to temperature screening and filling out questionnaires.
    • Only three countries were assigned to the second category – Poland, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Upon arrival from these destinations, tourists will be checked for temperature and surveyed.
    • All other countries were assigned to the third category, with regular air connectivity currently prohibited. Arrivals from these countries are subject to the same requirements as the second category.
  • Resumption of flights in Kazakhstan from August 17th – 18th:
    • Air Astana airlines has resumed direct flights from Nur-Sultan to Frankfurt from August 18th.
    • FlyDubai announced the resumption of flights to Almaty and Nur-Sultan from August 18th. Kazakh tourists travelling to Dubai, including transit passengers, must present a negative coronavirus test certificate before boarding the flight, taken not earlier than 96 hours before departure. Only children under 12 years old and those with certain health conditions are exempted from testing.
    • Belavia airline has resumed flights from Minsk to Almaty and Nur-Sultan from August 17th. The flights are now operating twice a week, and their frequency is planned to increase.
    • SCAT Airlines plans the resumption of flights from Nur-Sultan and Almaty to Sharm el-Sheikh starting September 14th. The flights will be operated by subsidiary charter Sunday Airlines. Flights from Kazakhstan to the Red Sea resorts will be operated twice a week.


  • Ukraine recorded yet another all-time peak of 2,134 cases of Covid-19 as of August 20th, Total number of fatalities has risen to 40 per day, according to Minister of Health Maxim Stepanov. The total official number of positive cases is now 98,537, with 2,184 fatalities.
  • As of August 19th, Ministry of Health announced the extension of quarantine measures in Kyiv and 13 other regions. The following restrictions in Kyiv are valid from August 17th.
    • Hostels are prohibited from operating.
    • From 24:00 to 07:00, Nightclubs and catering establishments are prohibited from operating (except for delivery and take-away).
    • It is obligatory to carry an identity document.
    • Public sports and religious events can only be conducted with 5 sq. m per visitor.
    • It is prohibited to visit retirement homes, except for those that provide services in a crisis.
    • Cinemas are open, with 50% seat occupancy.
    • Public transport occupancy is allowed only according to the number of seats. Prevention measures apply, including social distancing, face masks, reduced occupancy in public places and transport.
  • Resumption of flights in Ukraine:
    • FlyDubai has resumed flights to Odessa. From 5th to 29th September, flights from Dubai will be operated twice a week, and for the period from October 1st to 24th three times a week.
    • SkyUp charter airlines plan to operate direct flights from Kyiv to Copenhagen with a frequency of 2 flights a week from October 25th, 2020.
    • Charter airline Azur Air Ukraine is launching two new flights from regions to Dalaman and Bodrum, to be operated twice a week. As of August 14th, the air carrier operates flights from the airports of Lviv, Kharkov, Odessa, and Kyiv to Turkey and Egypt. In addition, new flights to Egypt from Odessa and Zaporozhye region are planned from October.
    • Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air launched flights from Lviv to Italy: Rome (Ciampino) from August 14th and Milan (Malpensa) from August 16th. Both are operated twice a week.


  • On Thursday, August 20th, Georgia recorded 9 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive cases to 1,370, with 17 fatalities.
  • Georgian government confirmed the reduction of the period of mandatory quarantine and isolation from 14 to 12 days. Consequently, 12-day quarantine is mandatory for all individuals arriving from foreign countries, those who have been in contact with the infected, and for the citizens’ mandatory self-isolation period.
  • The Georgian authorities have extended the restriction on regular international flights until September 30th, as per the Civil Aviation Agency’s announcement on August 18th. The restriction does not apply to the direct international flights between Tbilisi International Airport and the airports of Munich (Germany), Paris (France) and Riga (Latvia).


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