July 16, 2020

Russia suspends all international flights to curb coronavirus



Russia today decided to suspend all international flights, with the exception of those that allow Russians to be repatriated from abroad, as an additional measure to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the government reported in a statement today.

The Government has ordered the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) to suspend “regular and charter flights to and from Russian airports starting at midnight, with the exception of those associated with the repatriation of Russian citizens” and those “made according to individual decisions” of the Russian Executive.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin noted that all Russians returning to the country will undergo tests at airports to detect the possible presence of the coronavirus in travelers.

Russia has previously limited air connections with most countries, including the European Union (EU) and non-EU European countries, as well as with China and the US, among others.

LOSSES IN THE AERONAUTICAL SECTOR

The main Russian airline, Aeroflot, has already suspended 92 of 94 international routes, that is 1,365 flights a week in the winter season, according to the TASS agency. Throughout today it will cancel the two remaining routes.

The airline has not yet calculated the impact that the pandemic will have on its results, but like other international companies it will suffer the great impact of COVID-19.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has calculated that the pandemic could cause a reduction in revenues of between 63,000 and 113,000 million dollars (56,405 million euros and 101,196 million euros) in world passenger air transport.

The Russian government has promised aid to the sector, as well as to other Russian tourism operators, which, in the case of Russia, will lose some 37,000 million rubles (432 million euros) as long as seasonal travel can resume. according to the calculations of the Russian Tour Operators Association (ATOR).

RADICAL MEASURES AGAINST COVID-19

As of today, the country registers 840 cases of the coronavirus, 182 more than on Wednesday and two deaths from COVID-19.

To prevent further spread, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed non-working next week for all citizens for one week.

Those over 65 should also stay at home.

The Government has gradually increased restrictions at the national level.

In turn, officials must work as much as possible from this Friday from home, among other measures.

This Thursday it recommended that the regions temporarily suspend leisure, entertainment, shows, cultural and physical education events, sports, exhibitions and educational activities, as well as other similar events involving the attendance of people.

This measure is also applied to the provision of services in leisure parks, shopping malls, attractions and in other places of mass participation of citizens.

Citizens will no longer be able to visit buildings, spaces and premises for these events, nor can they go to nightclubs, cinemas or children’s play centers.

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