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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Legal & commercial implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia

Back to COVID-19: The new normal?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on every aspect of our lives in Russia and in other countries. Declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020, everyone’s primary concern is to minimise the spread of the virus, to mitigate its effects.

Businesses and organisations have a role to play and a responsibility to their own people. They also confront a wide range of practical, commercial and legal challenges associated with the spread of the virus. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia

CMS has created a Coronavirus Hub dedicated to the issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. This hub gives you full and permanent access to content created by CMS Russia lawyers and CMS offices around the world in response to the crisis. The hub is updated regularly.

We remain available at all times to address any requests or difficulties you may have on a one-to-one basis. By emailing [email protected] you can be in immediate contact with our experts.

Latest updates


Until 21 September 2020, Russian citizens are allowed to enter Greece on the following conditions:

– flights will only land at the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion (Crete);
– the number of Russian citizens entering Greece is limited to 500 persons per week;
– upon arrival to Greece, Russian citizens must present negative result of a COVID-19 test taken not earlier than 72 hours; and
– upon arrival to Greece, Russian citizens must also present documents confirming their place of residence in Greece (hotel booking or other accommodation).

Those who violate the above requirements will be subject to a EUR 5,000 fine.



Exhibitions and congress activities may be resumed in full in the city, provided that their organisers and participants comply with the sanitary and epidemiological restrictions adopted by the Moscow Department of Rospotrebnadzor.

03.09.2020Citizens of Egypt, the Maldives and the UAE or persons permanently residing in these countries are allowed to enter Russia, provided that they do so by plane flying from their country of citizenship/residence (in addition to the previously approved countries of UK, Tanzania, Turkey and Switzerland).

Entry to Russia is no longer limited to a single occasion for persons entering Russia to assist their close relatives (spouses, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children), guardians or trustees in need of medical care, provided that they have documents issued by a medical organisation confirming the respective medical condition.

Russian citizens leaving Russia to assist their close relatives (as listed above), guardians or trustees in need of medical care are now allowed to do so on numerous occasions.

Russian citizens who are close relatives (as listed above) of persons permanently residing outside Russia (including foreign citizens) are now allowed to leave Russia for the relevant state on numerous occasions, provided that they are citizens of that state or have the right to reside in such state.
01.09.2020Educational organisations in Russia must take the following measures:

– provide for hygienic treatment of hands with sanitisers at entrances, in public areas, canteens and sanitary facilities;
– monitor body temperature of all their employees at least twice a day using contactless means;
– prohibit persons with signs of infectious diseases from being admitted to the organisation;
– comply with the mask regime and social distancing requirements;
– treat all contact surfaces in public areas and sanitary units with disinfectants at least once every four hours and at the end of the day;
– air classes during breaks; and
– switch to distance learning if the epidemiological situation worsens.
21.08.2020Restrictions on entry to Russia are lifted from 21 August to 31 October 2020 for participants, guests of honour, members of the press and persons involved in the preparation of the Russian stage of the FIA Formula One World Championship and support car races.

Restrictions on entry to Russia are lifted in respect of highly qualified specialists in the field of sports or athletes participating in sport events held in Russia, provided that they are included in a list submitted by the Ministry of Sports to the Russian Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Aviation Agency.
20.08.2020Moscow Region

The self-isolation regime for people over 65 and those with chronic diseases is cancelled as of 24 August 2020.

All restrictions on visiting the premises of organisations and individual entrepreneurs are lifted, provided that the general rules of social distancing and field-specific guidelines are complied with.

Educational and sports organisations may resume work in full, provided that they comply with the applicable guidelines approved by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor.

Currently, foreign citizens are allowed to enter Russia under the following conditions: 

– citizens of, or persons permanently residing in, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey and the United Kingdom, provided that they enter Russia by plane;

– citizens of Abkhazia, provided that they enter Russia from Abkhazia;

– citizens of Ukraine or stateless persons permanently residing in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions of Ukraine;

– citizens of Belarus who are employees of Belarusian companies engaged in ensuring continuous production at Russian industrial facilities in the field of nuclear energy, construction, oil and gas production and processing of minerals, provided that they: (1) are sent to such facilities for shift work; (2) are included in a list the competent federal executive authority or “Rosatom” State Corporation submits to the Russian Federal Security Service and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs; and (3) enter Russia through the Russian-Belarusian state border or checkpoints across the state border of Russia;

– citizens of countries* with which Russia has agreements on a visa-free regime, provided that (1) they are arriving in Russia due to the death of a close relative; or (2) they are holders of diplomatic or service passports;

– highly qualified specialists, provided that: (1) they have a valid work permit and/or work visa; (2) they have a valid employment contract or service agreement; (3) they are included in a list the competent executive federal authority submits to the Russian Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs; and (4) they enter Russia under this provision on a single occasion;

– persons permanently residing on the territory of Russia;

– persons who are family members (spouses, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children), guardians or trustees of Russian citizens;

– persons entering Russia for the purpose of medical treatment, provided that they have documents confirming the invitation to undergo treatment in Russia issued by a medical organisation;

– persons entering Russia on a single occasion to assist their close relatives (spouses, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children), guardians or trustees in need of medical care, provided that they have documents confirming the respective medical condition issued by a medical organisation;

– employees of foreign diplomatic and consular missions and international organisations accredited in Russia (as well as their family members), employees of the Intergovernmental Courier Service, members of official delegations entering the Russian Federation;

– persons holding diplomatic, service or ordinary visas issued in view of the death of a close relative, or persons holding ordinary visas issued under a decision of the Russian Foreign Ministry;

– participants of the State programme to facilitate the voluntary relocation of compatriots living abroad (or their family members) to Russia;

– persons engaged in adjusting and maintaining foreign-made equipment specified in a list the competent federal executive authority submits to the Russian Federal Security Service and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs;

– persons permanently residing in the territory of the city of Baikonur of the Republic of Kazakhstan or sent to the territory of Kazakhstan to participate in the implementation of Russian state or presidential programmes, etc., provided that they are included in a list “Roscosmos” State Corporation submits to the Russian Federal Security Service;

– drivers of trucks of international road transport, crews of air, sea and river vessels, train and locomotive crews of international railway transport, personnel defined by international agreements of the Russian Federation in the field of railway transport; and

– persons travelling through the Russian territory by transit flights.

* In Russian


People arriving in Russia are no longer subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine with exception of foreign citizens for work purposes*.

Foreign citizens entering Russia must provide documents (in Russian or English):
– confirming they tested negative for COVID-19 under polymerase chain reaction method (PCR) three calendar days or less before arriving in Russia; and
– proving presence of IgG antibodies (if available).

If they do not have such COVID-19 test results, foreign citizens must take a test within three calendar days of arrival in Russia.

Airlines can prevent foreign citizens from boarding the airplane if they do not have documents proving they tested negative to COVID-19 PCR.

All foreign citizens have to fill in a questionnaire in Russian or in English on the plane.

Russian citizens have to take a PCR COVID-19 test within three calendar days of arrival in Russia.

Russian citizens have to fill in a questionnaire on the Gosuslugi website when registering on a flight and upload their COVID-19 test results within three calendar days.
On the plane, Russian citizens have to fill in a questionnaire in Russian.

All filled in questionnaires will be handed in to Rospotrebnadzor’s local offices.

Employers must inform employees travelling abroad about these requirements and check that foreign employees tested negative for COVID-19.

*Decree of the Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation as of 15 dated 27 July 2020 in Russian


Entertainment and cultural events (films, concerts, shows and other similar events) are allowed in premises with not more than 3,000 seats, provided that sanitary requirements are fulfilled.

During sports, entertainment and cultural events, the number of visitors must not exceed 50% of the premises’ capacity, and social distancing must be ensured.

Moscow Region

Health resorts will resume their work.
23.07.2020Moscow Region

All retail facilities are allowed to resume work.

All organisations providing services to the population must comply with the applicable field-specific guidelines.

The provision of public services has resumed in full.

Official events organised by executive state bodies of the Moscow Region may be held as of 24 July 2020.

As of 31 July, leisure, entertainment, cultural, sports, exhibition, educational, advertising and other similar activities are allowed with the number of visitors being simultaneously present not exceeding 50% of the total capacity of the venues or in buildings with no more than 3,000 seats.
16.07.2020Moscow Region

Wearing masks in parks is not obligatory.
15.07.2020Moscow Region

Health resorts for children, hotels and beaches will resume their operations. 

Educational institutions, children’s camps, children’s entertainment centres, amusement and recreation parks, cultural centres and organisations in the field of leisure will resume offline operations.

The following restrictions introduced in Moscow due to COVID-19 outbreak remain in force:
– prohibition of public events;
– prohibition of mass entertainment and cultural events (only events held in premises without seats for an audience are allowed, provided that sanitary requirements are fulfilled, the number of visitors does not exceed 50% of the premises’ capacity and social distancing is ensured);
– prohibition of smoking hookah (shisha) in restaurants, cafés and other public places;
– requirement to wear masks and gloves in premises, transport, railway infrastructure and taxis;
– requirement on social distancing;
– employers’ obligations on body temperature checks, COVID-19 testing and other obligations under Annex 6 to the Mayor’s Executive Order No. 12-YM; and
– compliance with requirements set by Rospotrebnadzor.

It is no longer obligatory, but recommended, to wear masks in the streets.

The following enterprises in the capital are allowed to resume operations: 
– fitness centres and swimming pools;
– restaurants, cafes, etc., including in public parks;
– SPA salons, massage salons, solariums, saunas;
– libraries without prior appointments;
– water transport;
– kindergartens;
– social services;
– tourist agencies with exception of organising excursions.

People can use city infrastructure, including play and sport grounds.
16.06.2020Foreigners will not need to prolong their visas, term of stay, migration registration or temporary and permanent residency permits if these documents are expiring between 15 March 2020 and 15 September 2020. The above documents will automatically be prolonged for 185 days after their expiry date. 

Foreign citizens who arrived to Russia on a visa-free basis can apply for “patents” for work in Russia without observing the regular requirements on the deadline for the application and the purpose of visit indicated in the foreign citizen’s migration card.

Employers can apply for work permits for foreigners who arrived to Russia under a visa if these employers: (i) observe the established sanitary and epidemiological measures and (ii) have first obtained a general authorisation for the employment of foreign employees. The work permits will be issued up to 15 September 2020.

The following enterprises in the capital are allowed to resume operations:
– seasonal summer cafes;
– libraries (based on prior appointments), museums and zoos for holders of e-tickets;
– dental clinics;
– organisations operating in the field of real estate, leasing, law, accounting, management consultancy, advertising, etc.

Sport events can now be held provided that the number of visitors is not more than 10% of the premises’ capacity.
06.06.2020Cases when Russian citizens are allowed to cross the Russian border in order to leave the country have been expanded as follows:
– to undergo medical treatment;
– to take care of sick close relatives residing in a foreign state (for a single departure only); 
– when a Russian citizen is a relative of people, including foreign citizens, residing in a foreign state;
– to perform work duties on the territory of a foreign state (for a single departure only);
– to study in foreign educational organisations (for a single departure only).
01.06.2020Moscow Region

Mass events remain prohibited, and night clubs, cinemas, etc. are still not authorised to operate. No date has been announced as to when these restrictions will be lifted.

Requirements related to mandatory self-isolation when COVID-19 or other respiratory infections are diagnosed, wearing masks, body temperature checks and social distancing at work remain in force in the Moscow Region.
18.05.2020Rospotrebnadzor has developed recommendations for various types of businesses due to COVID-19 outbreak, including beauty salons, shops, construction sites, etc. (link)

General recommendations for all organisations are provided in infographic and in text.

The Russian Supreme Court has suggested courts resume work on a full scale starting from 12 May, stating that persons diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who were in contact with such persons would not be admitted to court buildings.

Each court establishes its own regime of work, and information should be checked on the courts’ official websites. 



General issues

14.04.2020Digital passes now required in Moscow and Moscow Region: who must obtain them and how
06.04.2020Prolongation of non-working days until 30 April 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreak: what are the practical legal implications for businesses?
06.04.2020COVID-19: Russia passes new laws on tightened liability, insolvency, rents, state purchases and medicines
01.04.2020Coronavirus (COVID-19) as force majeure
19.03.2020Russia strengthens measures to contain the spread of COVID-19
06.03.2020High alert in the Russian capital due to coronavirus

Banking and Finance

28.04.2020CMS Expert Guide to Coronavirus Related Loan Moratoriums


14.04.2020Impact of COVID-19 on Public Procurement
27.03.2020CMS Expert Guide to Competition Law During Coronavirus


12.05.2020CMS Expert Guide for Directors of Companies
09.04.2020Russia ponders the new corporate reality of 2020: is the future on- or offline?

Dispute Resolution

30.04.2020Russian Supreme Court’s COVID-19 case law review

Employment & Migration

20.04.2020Migration regime in Russia temporarily simplified
10.04.2020Russian employees can be granted leave during non-working days, says labour ministry
27.03.2020Employees in Russia to be mandatorily off work from 30 March to 3 April
20.03.2020Update on migration issues in Russia in relation to COVID-19

Intellectual Property

22.04.2020CMS Expert Guide to COVID-19's Impact on IP Legal Timings

Life Sciences & Healthcare

22.05.2020Russia approves rules for online sale of OTC drugs
30.03.2020Maximum prices of medicines and medical devices can be set by government during epidemics
23.03.2020Russia allows online sale of OTC drugs

Real Estate & Construction

31.03.2020CMS Expert Guide to COVID-19 Impact on Lease Agreements
25.03.2020COVID-19 and leases: implications for tenants and landlords


17.04.2020Russia amends tax legislation due to COVID-19 spread
07.04.2020Russia approaches Cyprus to amend double taxation treaty
02.04.2020COVID-19 in Russia: latest tax and customs developments
27.03.2020Russian President announces radical tax measures
25.03.2020Russia announces tax and customs measures to aid business during COVID-19 spread
22.03.2020CMS Expert Guide to COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures
COVID-19 response team


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