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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

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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.


Trade and service employers in Moscow and Moscow Region to ensure at least 60% of employees are COVID-19 vaccinated

On 16 June 2021, against the background of an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Moscow and Moscow Region authorities announced mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 in the service and trade sectors, which we have summarised under the link.

COVID-19: action plan for employers

CMS Russia has created step-by-step guidance to assist employers in handling some common COVID-19 situations in the workplace. Follow the link to find out what to do if...

– an employee has a fever or other symptoms of ARI
– an employee has been tested positive for COVID-19
– an employee has been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19
– an employee has recently come back from abroad


Latest updates

03.09.2021As of 4 September 2021, persons arriving in Russia from the UK are no longer required to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, the 14-day self-isolation requirement for those arriving for employment purposes still applies. 
13.08.2021Moscow

As of 13 August 2021:
– it is no longer compulsory but recommended for employers to switch at least 30% of their employees (including all persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases) to remote work;
– the requirement to ensure that 70% of employees at most are simultaneously present at the workplace is lifted, but employers should   minimise their employees’ physical presence at the workplace; 
– employers are no longer required to measure employees’ temperature every four hours, but are still required to do so once per day before admitting an employee to their workplace;
– the requirement to test at least 10% employees for COVID-19 once every 15 days is lifted; 
– restrictions on visiting zoos are lifted.
30.07.2021A 4-day term has been set for Russian citizens entering the country from abroad to upload to the state services website the results of the PCR test for COVID-19, information on the disease suffered during the last 6 months or information on vaccination carried out during the last 12 months. Herewith, the deadline for passing the test remains the same (three days from the day of arrival).

Foreign citizens arriving in Russia by air from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan must confirm they have a negative PCR test (passed no earlier than three days before arrival) using the "Travel without COVID-19" mobile app. If they are travelling through Russia by transit or with a short stop, the test result may be presented in paper from. From 1 September 2021, this regime also applies to foreign citizens arriving by air from Azerbaijan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
30.07.2021Moscow

The requirement on compulsory use of gloves in public transport, stores and other public places is lifted. The use of masks in these locations remains mandatory.
16.07.2021Moscow

As of 19 July 2021:

– organisations and individual entrepreneurs are free to determine themselves whether to admit persons to their premises only if they have a QR code*; 
– restaurants, cafes, food courts, night clubs, bars, discos and karaoke bars are free to serve customers around the clock, provided that they either admit customers to their premises only if they have a QR code or ensure compliance with the applicable Rospotrebnadzor recommendations (observance of social distancing, wearing of personal protective equipment, etc.);
– summer cafes and terraces are free to carry on serving customers, provided that they ensure compliance with the applicable Rospotrebnadzor recommendations;
– children’s playrooms are free to resume work, provided that they comply with the applicable Rospotrebnadzor recommendations;
– theatres, cinemas, concert halls, organisers of mass entertainment and sport events, advertising events, children’s events (including in playrooms, entertainment centres and camps) must either implement a QR code system or ensure compliance with the applicable Rospotrebnadzor recommendations;
– the limitation on the number of visitors (50% of the total capacity) for cultural, exhibition and educational events (including those held in museums, exhibition halls and libraries) does not apply if only visitors with a QR code are admitted.

* QR codes for Moscow can be obtained by persons vaccinated with the second component of a two-component vaccine or with a one-component vaccine, those who have suffered from COVID-19 in the past six months and been officially registered with the authorities as having had it, or those who have been tested negative for COVID-19 in the past three days
16.07.2021Moscow Region

As of 19 July 2021: 
– organisations and individual entrepreneurs are free to determine themselves whether to admit persons to their premises only if they have a QR code*; 
– restaurants, cafes, food courts, night clubs, bars, discos and karaoke bars are free to service customers around the clock, provided that they either admit customers to their premises only if they have a QR code or ensure compliance with the applicable Rospotrebnadzor recommendations (observance of social distancing, wearing of personal protective equipment, etc.);
– sports, entertainment, advertising and other similar events can be held without the number of participants being limited or having to ensure observance of social distance, provided that only persons with a QR code are admitted, and service staff wears masks or respirators; 
– events in cultural and educational organisations can be held without the number of participants being limited and having to check QR codes;
– children’s playrooms, attractions, zoos, park infrastructure facilities (including sports grounds and gazebos) can be visited without a QR code;
– children’s playrooms, attractions, zoos and organisers of mass events for children must ensure compliance with the applicable Rospotrebnadzor recommendations; 
– the ban on the use of infrastructure facilities in in-house courtyards, children's and sports grounds, is lifted.

* QR codes for the Moscow Region can be obtained by persons vaccinated with the second component of a two-component vaccine or with a one-component vaccine or those who have suffered from COVID-19 in the past six months and been officially registered with the authorities as having had it
07.07.2021No PCR test for COVID-19 is required on arrival in Russia for Russian citizens who have:
– been vaccinated* against COVID-19 in the last 12 months;
– suffered** from COVID-19 in the last six months.

In other cases, Russian citizens need to undergo only one PCR test within three days of arrival in Russia and self-isolate until they receive the test results.

Foreign nationals arriving in Russia must present the results of a PCR test taken no earlier than three days before departure to Russia or undergo the PCR test once within three days of arrival in Russia. 

Citizens of the EAEU member states and citizens of Tajikistan (from 10 July 2021), Azerbaijan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan (from 1 September 2021) confirm they have a negative PCR test using the "Travel without COVID-19" mobile app.

* According to currently available information, only official vaccinations with components registered in Russia are taken into account.
** Data about the illness should be recorded in the Russian unified state information system.
28.06.2021

Moscow Region

From 28 June 2021, sports, physical education, entertainment, advertising and other similar events can be held when some spectators do not have a QR code confirming they have been vaccinated* or ill* in the last six months provided the following requirements are met:
– spectators are admitted to the event on the basis of a ticket indicating a seat number;
– the organiser ensures the observance of a social distance of 1.5 m between the spectators;
– the maximum number of spectators for an indoor event is 50, for an outdoor event 500;

* According to currently available information, only official vaccinations with components registered in Russia are taken into account.
** Data about the illness should be recorded in the Russian unified state information system.

25.06.2021Moscow

From 28 June 2021, employers are obliged to transfer at least 30% of employees and civil law contractors, including all persons over the age of 65 and persons with chronic diseases, to remote work. 

The number of persons to be transferred to remote work is determined on the basis of their total number reduced by the number of vaccinated persons

The requirement to switch to remote work does not apply to:
– vaccinated persons;
– persons whose presence at work is critical for the functioning of the organisation;
– healthcare organisations, organisations in the defence industry, the aircraft industry, Roscosmos, Rosatom and other organisations identified by the Moscow Operational Headquarters on Coronavirus. 

Employers are also required to:
– issue internal orders establishing the number of persons to be transferred to remote work and those who are not;
– ensure that no more than 70% of employees and civil law contractors (excluding vaccinated persons) are present at the workplace at the same time;
– minimise physical presence at the workplace.
24.06.2021Moscow

From 24 June to 11 July 2021, visitors of seasonal summer terraces at restaurants may be served without a QR code confirming vaccination, illness endured within the past six months or a negative PCR test taken within the last three days (the "Confirming QR Code").

From 28 June 2021, it is allowed to visit the following without presenting a Confirming QR Code:
– restaurants, cafes, concert, entertainment and sporting events – by citizens under the age of 18 accompanied by parents or other legal representatives with a Confirming QR Code;
– restaurants and cafes in hotels, hostels and other accommodation facilities - by residents of these facilities, provided that no other persons have access to these facilities;
– public catering enterprises (including canteens, cafeterias, cafes) in educational organisations, provided there is no access to such premises for persons who are not employees or students.
23.06.2021Moscow Region

From 23 June 2021, concert, entertainment, educational, promotional, sports and other events must be held subject to the following requirements: 
– spectators are admitted to the event on the basis of a ticket indicating a seat number;
– the organiser ensures the observance of a social distance of 1.5 m between the spectators;
– the maximum number of spectators for an indoor event is 50, for an outdoor event 500;
– the abovementioned restrictions will not apply when only visitors with a QR code confirming vaccination against COVID-19 or illness endured within the past six months are admitted to the event.

Using a QR code confirming a negative PCR test is not allowed.

As of 24 June 2021, the following practices are suspended:
– serving persons in food courts, with the exception of takeaway services;
– providing food services to persons at seasonal outdoor cafes and terraces, except for outdoor cafes and terraces with a capacity to accommodate one person per 3 sq.m of space;
– conducting entertainment events at nightclubs, bars, discos, karaoke and hookah bars from 23:00 to 06:00;
– operating children's playrooms.

From 24 June 2021, accommodating persons over 18 for more than three days in hotels is possible only when the guest presents:
– a negative PCR test for COVID-19 obtained no earlier than three days prior to check-in;
– a vaccination certificate; or
– proof that he suffered from COVID-19 in the past six months.

From 28 June 2021: 
– concerts, entertainment, educational, promotional, sporting and other events will be held only when all spectators have a QR code;
– the provision of catering services (including in food courts) will be suspended except for:
* serving visitors over 18 with a QR code;
* serving visitors under 18;
* delivering orders and providing takeaway services; 
– conducting entertainment events in nightclubs, bars, discos, karaoke and hookah bars from 23:00 to 06:00 is possible provided all the guests have a QR code, except for those under 18;
– it is possible to visit playgrounds, amusement parks and zoos provided all guests have a QR code, except for those under 18;
– using park infrastructure, including playgrounds, sports grounds, arbours and other objects (except for benches, shade shelters and other similar objects) is suspended.

From 15 July 2021 only drivers who have a QR code will be allowed to carry passengers and luggage in passenger taxis in the Moscow Region.
23.06.2021 Moscow

Employees in the delivery industry, including couriers, are added to the list of persons subject to compulsory vaccination.
22.06.2021

Moscow

From 28 June 2021, serving customers in restaurants, cafes and food courts is subject to the following requirements (except for takeaways):
– customers will be admitted to restaurants on the basis of a check that customers have a QR code confirming they are vaccinated, have suffered from COVID-19 in the last six months or hold a negative PCR test taken in the previous three days (“Confirming QR Codes”);
– service personnel, with the exception of artists and musicians, are required to wear personal protective equipment;
– customers have the right to stay in the restaurant without personal protective equipment.

Public catering organisations are required to send a notification via the i.moscow portal on the beginning/termination of activities carried out in compliance with the above restrictions. Thereafter the relevant information is entered in the Register of Organisations and Individual Entrepreneurs Operating in Compliance with the Restrictions.

From 19 to 27 June 2021, restaurants, cafes, night clubs and other establishments included in the Register of Organisations and Individual Entrepreneurs Participating in the Experiment of “COVID-free” zones are allowed to serve customers from 23:00 to 06:00 when such customers fall within the following categories:
– customers holding a QR code confirming vaccination with the second component of the vaccine; or
– customers under the age of 18 accompanied by their parents or other legal representatives holding a QR code confirming vaccination with the second component of the vaccine.

From 22 June 2021, concert, entertainment and sporting events are subject to the following requirements: 
– the maximum number of visitors is limited to 500;
– individuals are prohibited from attending areas that do not provide seating (fan zones, dance floors, etc.);
– the above restrictions do not apply if the organiser ensures that access to the event is granted only to those holding a Confirming QR Code.

Theatres and cinemas (regardless of the number of visitors), as well as organisers of concerts, entertainment and sporting events with a maximum attendance of 500 people are recommended to organise admission to the respective events by Confirming QR Codes.

The following restrictions are extended until further notice:
– a ban on children's playrooms and zoos;
– a ban on holding entertainment events in nightclubs, bars and karaoke from 23:00 to 06:00;
– a ban on the use of park infrastructure, including sports and children's playgrounds, gazebos and other facilities.

18.06.2021Moscow

On 21 June 2021, the non-working period is cancelled. 

From 21 to 29 June 2021, the following restrictions are extended:
– a ban on work of food courts, children’s playrooms and zoos;
– a ban on serving customers at restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and other establishments (except for takeaway) from 23:00 to 06:00;
– a ban on the use of urban infrastructure facilities.

From 18 to 29 June 2021, concert, entertainment and sporting events are subject to the following requirements: 
– the maximum number of spectators is limited to 1,000;
– individuals are prohibited from attending areas that do not provide seating (fan zones, dance floors, etc.)
16.06.2021Moscow and the Moscow Region

Employers are obliged to ensure vaccination of at least 60% of their employees/civil law contractors in certain sectors. Please see our Infographic on vaccination for more details.
16.06.2021Moscow Region

Until 20 July 2021:
– persons are obliged to wear a mask or respirator when in public places, including premises of companies, shops, pharmacies, medical institutions, public and rail transport, taxi, stations, bridges and tunnels, common areas of multi-apartment buildings; 
– companies and individual entrepreneurs are obliged to deny persons without masks (respirators), including employees (with the exception of persons vaccinated from COVID or having a documented history of the disease), access to their buildings or premises;
– all mass events with more than 50 participants may be held subject to the following requirements:
* ensuring that a social distance of 1.5 metres is maintained between spectators;
* admission to the event is subject to the availability of a ticket indicating a seat;
* the maximum number of spectators is limited to 1,500 at a time (subject to an increase by 20% for vaccinated spectators).
15.06.2021The moratorium on the expulsion of foreign nationals from Russia has been extended until 30 September 2021. 

Foreign citizens and stateless persons who arrived in Russia before 15 March 2020 and do not have legal grounds to stay in the country have until 30 September 2021 to apply to the territorial bodies of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs to regularise their legal status or leave Russia.

From 16 June to 31 December 2021 inclusive:
– terms of temporary or permanent residence of foreign citizens staying in Russia, terms of their registration at their place of residence and terms of validity of a refugee certificate and a certificate of temporary asylum are suspended;
– citizens of the EAEU Member States have the right to conclude employment or civil law contracts with employers without regard to the requirements on the declared purpose of their visit to Russia;
– foreign citizens and stateless persons who arrived in Russia on a visa-free basis have the right to apply for the issuance or reissuance of a patent without regard to the requirements on the deadline for submission of documents and the declared purpose of their visit to Russia;
– employers who received an authorisation to hire foreign workers have the right to apply for issuance or renewal of work permits for foreign citizens and stateless persons who arrived in Russia on a visa basis without regard to the requirements on the declared purpose of the foreign workers’ visit to Russia.

The following terms are suspended from 16 June 2021 until expiration of 90 days from the date of resumption of transport communication between Russia and a foreign country:
– terms of temporary stay in Russia, migration registration, visa and migration card validity for citizens and permanent residents of the respective foreign country;
– terms of validity of temporary residence permits and permanent residence permits of foreign citizens and stateless persons valid as of 15 March 2020 if these persons are outside Russia;
– terms of validity of certificates of participants in the state programme for repatriation of compatriots valid as of 15 March 2020;
– terms of stay outside Russia of highly qualified specialists, foreign citizens and stateless persons temporarily and permanently residing in Russia, participants of the state programme for repatriation of compatriots and members of their families, when such persons did not enter Russia before the expiry of a six-month period of stay outside Russia. 

Foreign citizens have the right to carry out labour activities until the expiry of their respective labour or civil law contract, patent or work permit.
12.06.2021Moscow

From 13 June 2021, it is recommended for employers to:
– transfer at least 30% of employees to remote work, including all employees over the age of 65 and employees with chronic diseases, but the excluding those who are vaccinated;
– take measures to minimise  presence of employees at the workplace;
– ensure that activities aimed at encouraging vaccination are carried out.
25.05.2021Moscow Region

The requirement to test 10% of employees against COVID-19 each 15 calendar days no longer applies to companies (or individual entrepreneurs) when 60% of their employees (or civil law contractors) have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and have the respective vaccination certificate to confirm it.
20.05.2021Restrictions on entry into Russia for the following categories of foreigners and stateless persons are lifted:
– owners or managers of businesses operating in Russia and other foreigners, provided that these persons (i) enter Russia to participate in negotiations for the implementation of investment projects and (ii) are included in a special list of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia;
– siblings, grandparents and grandchildren of Russian citizens;
– persons entering Russia to carry out burial in connection with the death of a sibling, grandparent or grandchild;
– persons entering Russia to care for a sick sibling, grandparent or grandchild;
– persons accompanying patients who are minors and patients in moderate or severe condition, or in the presence of other established medical indications, entering Russia for the purpose of treatment;
– persons being extradited to Russia;
– participants in events, competitions, volunteers and fans entering Russia under the Federal Law “On Preparing and Holding the FIFA World Cup 2018, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the UEFA European Football Championship 2020 in the Russian Federation”; and
– persons serving the Saimaa Canal.

Restrictions on entry to and exit from Russia through road, rail, pedestrian, river and mixed checkpoints, as well as through the land section of the Russian-Belarusian border are lifted for the below categories of persons (in addition to the categories of persons in respect of whom restrictions were lifted earlier):
– with regard to entry: for all Russian citizens;
– with regard to exit:
 > for foreign citizens and stateless persons (the restriction on single exit has been lifted);
 > for the following categories of Russian citizens when they:
* have immovable property in the state they are leaving;
* are lawyers (advocates) and are practising law as such outside Russia or are taking part in court proceedings outside Russia;
* leave Russia following the death of a sibling, grandparent or grandchild;
* leave Russia to care for a sick sibling, grandparent or grandchild;
* also are a citizen of a foreign state or permanently reside abroad (the restriction of a single exit has been removed);
* work abroad under an employment contract (the single exit restriction has been removed);
* study abroad (the single exit restriction has been removed);
* are being extradited from Russia.

Restrictions on exit from Russia for Russian citizens leaving Russia through sea and air checkpoints are removed.
02.05.2021From 2 May 2021 and until further notice, Russian citizens arriving in Russia from any foreign country by any means of transport must test for coronavirus using the PCR method twice (the first time, no later than three calendar days from the date of arrival; the second time, no later than five calendar days after arrival, provided that at least 24 hours have passed between the two tests) and upload the test results on the public services website (gosuslugi).

For foreign citizens arriving in Russia, the requirement to undergo a PCR test once no later than three calendar days before departure to Russia remains in force. In addition, foreigners are randomly tested for coronavirus at Russian airports using the PCR method.

Persons vaccinated against COVID-19 in Russia or abroad are also subject to testing requirements.
05.03.2021Moscow

As of 8 March 2021:
– Moscow employers are no longer obliged to transfer all employees over 65 and those with chronic diseases to remote work, but remote work remains recommended for these employees until further notice. 
– Persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases are no longer obliged to self-isolate and their transport cards are unblocked, but they are recommended to refrain from leaving their place of residence until further notice. 
09.02.2021As of 9 February 2021, highly qualified specialists (HQSs) and their family members are allowed to enter Russia multiple times according to the established procedure for entry (based on lists the ministry responsible for the supervision of the employer sends to the Federal Security Service of Russia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia). 

Currently, it is unclear whether:
– HQSs and their family members who were included in these lists before 9 February 2021 can enter Russian multiple times; and
– it will be necessary to clear each entry with the relevant ministry or it will be sufficient to apply for entry once. 

We will update our Coronavirus Hub as soon as we receive any clarifications on this issue from the state authorities. 
27.01.2021

Moscow

As of 27 January 2021:
– The transfer of no less than 30% of employees to remote work is no longer mandatory but recommended. 
– The requirement to transfer to remote work all employees over 65 and those with chronic diseases and to submit the respective reports via the official website of the Moscow Mayor remains in force until further notice. 

Restaurants, bars, night clubs, karaoke clubs and other recreation and entertainment venues are free to resume work from 23:00 to 06:00, provided that they guarantee social distancing and comply with other recommendations of the Chief Sanitary Doctor.

21.01.2021Moscow

From 22 January 2021:
– The restrictions on the operation of museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, as well as on the holding of cultural, leisure, entertainment, sports and other mass events are lifted subject to compliance with the limit of 50% of the total capacity of the premises.
– The maximum number of spectators in theatres, cinemas and concert halls is increased from 25% to 50% of the total capacity of the hall.
– Colleges, continuing education institutions, sports schools and child leisure centres are resuming their operations.
– The restrictions on the operation of children's entertainment centres, children's rooms in shopping centres, day camps, etc. are lifted subject to compliance with the limit of 50% of the total capacity of the premises.

Until further notice, the following remain in force:
– the self-isolation regime for persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases (but the social cards of these persons will be unlocked for those who vaccinated against COVID-19);
– the requirement to transfer at least 30% of employees to remote work (including the mandatory transfer of persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases) and the obligation to send the relevant reports through the website of the Moscow Government;
– the ban on serving visitors from 23:00 to 06:00 in restaurants, bars, karaoke clubs and nightclubs, with the exception of take-away trade.

Distance learning continues at Moscow universities until 6 February 2021.
14.01.2021Moscow

Until 21 January 2021:
– The requirement to transfer at least 30% of employees to remote work remains applicable.
– Persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases remain subject to the self-isolation regime.
– It is prohibited to serve visitors from 23:00 to 06:00 in restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, except for take-away and courier delivery.
– Distance learning continues in institutions of secondary vocational and higher education.
– City institutions providing additional education and leisure facilities for children remain closed.
– The ban on the operation of museums and reserve museum, as well as on holding exhibitions, is extended.
– Theatres, concert halls, cinemas and libraries must comply with a room occupancy requirement of no more than 25% of the total capacity.

From 18 January 2021, 1st to 11th grade pupils will attend classes on-site.
12.01.2021Moscow Region

Until 6 February 2021:
– The requirement to transfer persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases to remote work remains applicable.
– Distance learning continues in higher education institutions.

From 13 January 2021, full-time education in colleges will resume.
The recommendation for persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases to observe self-isolation remains in force.
 
12.01.2021

Family members of highly qualified specialists (HQSs) are allowed to enter Russia from 31 December 2020 under a procedure similar to that established for HQSs (based on lists the ministry responsible for the supervision of the employer sends to the Federal Security Service of Russia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia).

29.12.2020Moscow 

Social card holders who have been vaccinated against coronavirus will enjoy preferential fares and free travel on public transport.
25.12.2020Persons arriving in Russia from the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
14.12.2020Moscow Region

Until 12 January 2021:
– College and university students remain on distance learning.
– Citizens over 65 years of age and those with chronic diseases are advised to self-isolate on a voluntary basis.

Until 20 December 2020, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs are prohibited from serving visitors from 23:00 to 06:00.

From 31 December 2020 to 10 January 2021, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs must check at the entrance, when private or corporate parties are held, that visitors have tested negative for COVID-19 not earlier than three days before the event if tested by the PCR method or not earlier than five days before if tested by the ELISA method (blood test for antibodies).

From 28 December 2020 to 15 January 2021, hotels must:
– verify when checking guests in that they have tested negative for COVID-19 not earlier than three days before check-in if tested by the PCR method or not earlier than five days before if tested by the ELISA method (blood test for antibodies);
– measure temperature when guests check in and during the day at the entrance of the hotel and the hotel’s restaurant.
22.11.2020The restrictions on entry to Russia for family members of foreign athletes, coaches, referees and other sports specialists are lifted.
16.11.2020The Rospotrebnadzor rules for persons who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients have changed: after two weeks of isolation, such a person can go to work or study without taking the test if there are no symptoms of the disease.
13.11.2020Moscow

Until 15 January 2021:
– Students of city colleges and universities are transferred to distance learning.
– It is prohibited to serve visitors from 23:00 to 06:00 in restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, with the exception of takeaway and courier delivery.
– Group tours and temporary exhibitions in museums and reserve museums are cancelled.
– Conducting mass physical culture and sports events with the participation of spectators is allowed only subject to agreement with the Moscow Department of Sports and the Office of Rospotrebnadzor in Moscow.
– The holding of mass cultural, exhibition and other entertainment events with the participation of spectators is suspended, while the holding of concert, film and theatre events is allowed when the room where they are held is not more than 25% full.
– The operation of children's day camps, children's entertainment centres, children's rooms in shopping centres is suspended.

Organisations whose work is related to serving citizens are recommended to introduce a QR code system.
28.10.2020– Rospotrebnadzor requires everyone nationwide to wear masks in places of mass gatherings, public transport, taxis, parking lots and lifts.

– Rospotrebnadzor recommends that regional authorities limit the work of restaurants and entertainment establishments from 23:00 to 06:00 and take other appropriate measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
15.10.2020Moscow

– Moscow employers who have, since 12 October, been submitting information on their employees (or civil-law contractors) transferred to remote work to the Moscow government, do not need to re-submit such information on a weekly basis, provided there are no changes to the relevant data; if, however, there are changes to the list of such persons, employers must provide updated information on the day when the respective decision is made.

– Moscow employers whose employees (civil-law contractors) working remotely and at the workplace on the basis of rotation, or in shifts, are to be included in the respective list submitted to the Moscow government, provided that no more than 70% of the total amount of employees (civil-law contractors) are simultaneously present at the workplace.

– As of 19 October 2020, visitors to nightclubs, discos, bars and other places holding entertainment activities between midnight and 06:00 (including employees of the respective companies) must register their phone numbers at the website of the Moscow government prior to entering or send an SMS to the phone number 7377 after entering. 

– Organisations and individual entrepreneurs engaged in the entertainment sector must obtain, via their personal account on the website of the Moscow government, an electronic identifier (QR code) or a code for SMS to be sent to the phone number 7377 for each location where the above services are provided, display information on the above requirement at the entrance, and ensure that all employees and visitors register their visits. 
06.10.2020Moscow

– From 12 to 28 October 2020, Moscow employers (organisations and individual entrepreneurs) must provide, on a weekly basis, information on employees and or persons working under civil-law contracts who are transferred to remote work by filling out a special form and uploading it to the employer’s account on the website of the Moscow Government.

– Failure by Moscow employers to comply with the requirement to transfer (i) at least 30% of employees in addition to (ii) employees over 65 and those with chronic diseases whose presence at work is not critically important for the functioning of their business, or with the abovementioned obligation to notify the authorities of such transfer, will give rise to administrative liability.
01.10.2020Moscow Region

– It is recommended that educational organisations of the Moscow Region introduce holidays for schoolchildren from 5 to 11 October 2020.

– Educational organisations and organisations providing recreation and rehabilitation services to children are obliged to render such services in full compliance with the relevant guidelines approved by the Chief Sanitary Doctor of Russia.
01.10.2020Moscow

From 5 to 28 October 2020, Moscow employers (organisations and individual entrepreneurs) must transfer to remote work:

– no less than 30% of the total number of employees; and
– all employees over 65 and those with chronic diseases, except when such persons being physical present at the office is critically important for the functioning of their business.

In addition, Moscow employers must:

– take the relevant decisions and issue the relevant internal acts prescribing (i) the number of employees (or persons working under civil-law contracts) to be transferred to remote work; and (ii) those not to be transferred when this is required for the continuous functioning of their business; and
– submit information on such decisions, and state which types of activity are carried out by the organisation (individual entrepreneur) and where activity is conducted, by completing a special form and sending it to [email protected] 
25.09.2020Moscow Region

Persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases are recommended to self-isolate at home or a country house, except in the following cases:

– when medical aid is required or there is a direct threat to the person’s life and health;

– when travelling to/from their place of work if such persons have not been transferred to remote work, are not on vacation or sick leave; and

– when going to/from the nearest shop or service provider, or walking a dog, or taking out rubbish, or taking a walk, doing physical exercise or sports.

Moscow Region employers (organisations and individual entrepreneurs) are recommended to:

– transfer to remote work as many employees as possible, including, as a priority, employees over 65 and those with chronic diseases;

– issue internal acts prescribing the number of employees (or persons working under civil-law contracts) to be transferred to remote work, and those not to be so transferred if this is required for the continuous functioning of their businesses. 

Executive authorities of the Moscow Region are instructed to strengthen control over compliance by organisations, individual entrepreneurs and individuals with the applicable sanitary requirements.
25.09.2020Moscow

As of 28 September 2020, persons over 65 and those with chronic diseases are required to self-isolate at home or in a country house, except in the following cases: 

– when medical aid is required or there is a direct threat to the person’s life and health; 
– when travelling to/from the place of work if such persons are not transferred to remote work, are not on vacation, or sick leave; and 
– when going to/from the nearest shop or service provider, or walking a pet, or taking out rubbish, or taking a walk, doing physical exercise or sports. 
24.09.2020Russian citizens arriving in Russia from abroad by air are required to self-isolate at home until receipt of a negative results of a COVID-19 test taken by PCR method.
23.09.2020– The terms of temporary stay in Russia of foreign citizens (including visa extensions), the terms of their registration or permanent residence, validity of temporary asylum certificates and refugee certificates will be extended automatically if such terms expire in the period from 15 March 2020 to 15 December 2020. 

– Foreign citizens who arrived in Russia on a visa will be able to receive a work permit valid until 15 December 2020 (incl.).

– Foreign citizens who arrived in Russia from a country with which Russia has a visa-free regime until 15 December 2020 retain the right to file an application for the issuance (renewal, re-issuance) of a “patent” regardless of whether the established deadline for submission expires before that date.

– Foreign citizens will be able to leave Russia for their country of citizenship even if their passport/ID has expired in the period from 15 March 2020 to 15 December 2020, provided that they do not travel by transit via other countries; if such passport/ID contains a Russian visa that also expired during the specified period, such documents will be valid for departure from Russia for 276 days after the expiry date of such passport/ID without the need to obtain a Russian transit visa.

– For foreign citizens holding a temporary or permanent residence permit, , or a certificate of participation in the State programme for the resettlement of compatriots, who left Russia before the borders were closed, the period from 15 March 2020 to 15 December 2020 will not be counted in the period of stay abroad and the validity period of their permit or certificate.

– As of 16 September 2020, the terms for voluntary departure from Russia of foreign citizens and stateless persons who are subject to forced administrative expulsion in the form of controlled departure, or are required to leave Russia due to the undesirability of their stay (residence) in Russia, are suspended.

– As of 16 September 2020, decisions on forced administrative expulsion, deportation or re-admission, on shortening the period of temporary stay, on revocation of refugee status, temporary asylum, on cancellation of previously issued visas, work permits, “patenty”, temporary or permanent residence permits, certificates of State programme participant may only be taken in respect of such foreign citizens or stateless persons who have been released from prison, or have violated legislation on the state border of Russia, or who pose a threat to the national security of Russia or engage in terrorist (extremist) activities.
 
20.09.2020

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

– citizens of, or persons permanently residing in, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, United Kingdom, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and South Korea, provided that they enter Russia by plane;

– citizens of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, provided that they enter Russia from Abkhazia and South Ossetia respectively;

– 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 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;

– persons participating in the quality control of equipment produced in Russia and supplied abroad under contracts for the construction of nuclear sites, who 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;

– persons participating in the certification of aircrafts produced in Russia and used by Russian airlines, who are included in a list the Ministry of Industry and Trade of submits to the Russian Federal Security Service and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs; and 

– persons travelling through the Russian territory by transit flights.

* In Russian

04.09.2020Moscow

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.
01.09.2020 Educational 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.
01.08.2020 

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

01.08.2020Moscow

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. 
13.07.2020Moscow

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.
23.06.2020Moscow

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.
16.06.2020Moscow

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.
12.05.2020

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

Competition

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

Corporate

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

Tax

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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