Russian Cabinet Orders Full Ban On Int'l Flights, Except Return Flights, Starting Friday

Russian Cabinet Orders Full Ban on Int'l Flights, Except Return Flights, Starting Friday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 26th March, 2020) The Russian government has tasked the Federal Air Transport Agency with banning all regular and charter international flights starting Friday, apart from flights for bringing Russians back home from abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"To ensure, from midnight of March 27, 2020 [March 26, 21:00 GMT], a ban on regular and charter flights conducted from Russian airports to airports of foreign countries and in the opposite direction, apart from flights for bringing Russian citizens to the territory of the Russian Federation from foreign countries due to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (in compliance with lists compiled by the Russian Foreign Ministry), and flights conducted under special decisions of the Russian Federation's government," the cabinet said in a statement.

The cabinet tasked the Foreign Ministry with forwarding the lists to the Transport Ministry, the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, the Health Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the country's flag carrier Aeroflot no later than March 27.

The Russian cabinet also requested that the Foreign Ministry provide assistance to Russians until their return home. Money should be allocated from foreign missions' funds, and the Russian Finance Ministry should provide additional funds, if needed. The cabinet also tasked the Russian Foreign Ministry with recommending those Russian citizens who cannot return home from abroad implementing measures to protect their health.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Russia, as well as many other countries, has imposed significant restrictions on air travel. Aviation companies are forced to cancel many flights. Some countries have also closed borders, which invokes a need to urgently evacuate citizens from abroad.

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