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Update – 26.03.2020

  • Russia confirmed 182 (136 of them – Moscow) new coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 840 and marking the largest one-day increase in cases so far. The cases are spread across 56 different regions of the country, though almost 50% of new cases were reported in Moscow and the Moscow region. By date, two patients who tested positive for coronavirus in Moscow died on Wednesday, Russia’s coronavirus response centre said. They were 73 and 88 years old and had pneumonia.
  • As Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced, libraries, theatres, recreational centres, nightclubs and all shops except for pharmacies and grocery stores to be closed starting Saturday. This measure, which also includes the closure of restaurants, cafes and bars and largest Moscow parks, will last from March 28 until April 5.
  • The Moscow health department said it would allow patients with mild cases of coronavirus to recover at home rather than in the hospital. Moscow hospitals will receive up to 200,000 rubles ($2,500) per coronavirus patient from the city’s health insurance fund to help cover the cost of their treatments.
  • Starting March 27th with the goal of containing the spread of coronavirus, Russia will suspend all regular and charter flights to other countries, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered. Russian airlines will still be allowed to fly to other countries to bring Russian citizens back or if they are authorized by special government decisions. All organized tourists will return to Russia by March, 31st.
  • Rosaviation does not exclude bankruptcies of airlines. On March 16, Aeroflot’s press office announced “enormous financial pressure” in connection with the flight bans – employees are suggested to go on a leave, two out of ten sales offices are temporarily closed. The carrier S7 was also forced to send part of their flight and cabin crews on vacation.
  • The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) predicts that the loss of travel industry due to Covid-19 virus will reach 37 billion of rubles and that 30% of tour operators and travel agencies will leave the market by summer 2020.
  • Russians will begin to plan their vacation in mid-May. This was announced by Chairman of the Legal Commission of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Igor Mokhov. He also added that the plans of the Russians will be affected by the economic situation, which is directly related to their financial resources. At the same time as stated by Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Tour Operators (ATOR) Russian tour operators expect that the demand for international travel will recover in July (the best scenario), the worst perspective is that the delayed demand will start to recover in September only. She also recommended Russian tourists to make informed decisions and not to cancel trips planned not for the recent future, but for a more distant period. Her advice is to wait upon the event and consider Tour Operator proposals because in her words “Given the exchange rate tourists only benefit from tours’ postponement “.

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