Since August 1, Russia has lifted restrictions on crossing the border with Abkhazia, introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. The corresponding order was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

“From today, Russians will be able to freely enter Abkhazia, and citizens of this country - to Russia,” the document says.

The decision to open the border with the republic was made on July 31 following a meeting of the operational headquarters under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova on the basis of the conclusions of Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation on the sanitary and epidemiological situation in Abkhazia and the readiness of the infrastructure to receive tourists.

Representatives of Rospotrebnadzor were in the republic with an inspection of tourist sites from 23 to 26 July and considered the epidemiological situation to be safe, RIA Novosti said.

The Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, following an emergency meeting of the coordination headquarters for protecting the population from COVID-19, confirmed that the country, for its part, also opened the border with Russian territory. 

“All restrictions are lifted. The order has come into force, "RIA Novosti quoted him as saying. 

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia Dmitry Dbar added that after the opening of the border, Abkhaz law enforcement officers will work in an enhanced mode.

It is worth noting that in July the sanitary and epidemiological service of the republic presented recommendations for hotels, according to which those wishing to check in must present a certificate of the absence of coronavirus. All personnel must have similar certificates. 

In addition, hotels must be accommodated in rooms by one person, with the exception of families or accompanying persons. In closed rooms where a large number of people gather, it is necessary to observe the mask regime. Also, hotels should be cleaned regularly, and in open areas, procedures for disinfecting gazebos, playgrounds, payment terminals, benches are mandatory.

In addition, the operational headquarters to combat the spread of coronavirus announced that from August 15, Russia will also resume air traffic with Switzerland. Flights will be operated once a week from the capital of the Russian Federation to Geneva and back. 

"The operational headquarters for the prevention of the importation and spread of a new coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation, chaired by Tatyana Golikova, decided to reopen international flights with the Swiss Confederation on the Moscow - Geneva - Moscow route on a reciprocal basis from August 15, 2020," the headquarters said.

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They also recalled that on August 1, the decree of the chief state sanitary doctor of the Russian Federation on the procedure for arriving in the country by air came into force. The document, published on the Rospotrebnadzor website, reminds that foreigners who are going to visit Russia must have a certificate confirming the absence of coronavirus when boarding. Material for testing for infection should be collected no earlier than three days before arrival in the country. In addition, visitors must complete a special application form.

Foreign nationals who fly to Russia to work must still observe 14 days of self-isolation. 

"Citizens of Russia arriving on the territory of the Russian Federation by air will have to ensure that the questionnaire arriving on board is completed and the form is filled out on a single portal of state and municipal services in electronic form before departure to the Russian Federation (when purchasing a ticket, but not later than check-in)", - specified in the department.

The Russians are also obliged to pass a COVID-19 test using the PCR method within three days after returning home and post information about the result on the portal of public services.

As a reminder, from August 1, Russia resumed international flights with three countries. So, Russians will be able to go to Great Britain (London), Turkey (to Ankara and Istanbul - from August 1, to Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman - from August 10), as well as to Tanzania (Zanzibar archipelago).

The flights will be operated from the airports of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don. 

As Mikhail Mishustin stated, the Cabinet of Ministers made the decision on these countries on the basis of the epidemiological situation, morbidity rates and the principles of reciprocity. 

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova added that the operational headquarters weekly monitors the situation with coronavirus infection and is working to expand the list of countries with which air traffic can be resumed.