Russia plans to resume some international flights from August. 1, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Friday, but the list of destinations will initially be limited to Tanzania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
International flights were grounded on March 30 after the imposition of lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 800,000 people in Russia.
Specifically, she said flights would resume to and from London, Turkish cities Istanbul and Ankara and the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania from August. 1. More holiday destinations in Turkey would be added from August. 10, Golikova added.
“Foreigners arriving in Russia will need to present negative coronavirus test results taken within the past 72 hours to be allowed entry,” she added.
Russia has not yet reopened its borders to all foreigners.
Speaking on state television, she added that authorities were working on a list of more countries where air travel could be resumed on a mutual basis.
Russia grounded nearly all international flights in late March to slow the coronavirus outbreak, allowing only special flights evacuating Russians from abroad and other flights authorized by the government.
Russia confirmed 5,811 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 800,849.
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On Thursday, Czech Airlines announced a new daily flight to London (Heathrow) starting on June 25, meanwhile, on Friday the Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizzair announced the launch of a direct flight to Tirana, Albania.
The carrier will fly to the capital of Albania twice a week from July 3, 2020, on Mondays and Fridays.
Smartwings will start flying to Croatia from mid-June, as well as to Mallorca, the Canary Islands, Cyprus (Larnaca), Madeira (Funchal), and Bulgaria (Burgas and Varna).
Air France will start flying from Prague to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from June 3. Initially, it will fly twice a week, increasing to four flights a week by the end of June. From July, the Finnish carrier Finnair plans to renew the flight to Helsinki.
Prague Airport has a number of protective measures in place. All passengers and visitors to the airport must wear a face mask in all areas, maintain safe distances, and ensure hand hygiene. More than 250 disinfection stands are located throughout the airport.
“If passengers arriving in Prague do not have their own face mask, they will receive it one for free. The check-in are also equipped with plexiglass, forming a safe barrier between the passenger and the check-in employee,” said Kateřina Pavlíková, spokeswoman for Prague Airport.
Last year, Prague Airport handled a record 17.8 million passengers.
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This morning, the first bus to Dresden and Berlin left Prague with 13 people aboard, mostly foreigners. It is the first renewed connection after the travel ban due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ban on international bus and rail connections has been in force in the Czech Republic since March 14. Earlier last week, the government decided to re-authorize international traffic from May 11.
The first RegioJet bus left Prague to Berlin today at 8.30 am, with a stop in Dresden.
RegioJet plans to return the bus to Prague already today and should leave Berlin in the late afternoon. So far, 20 passengcers have booked the trip. RegioJet plans to renew another bus line from Brno to Vienna. It should start on Monday.
Other bus transport providers have not yet specified when they intend to reopen their foreign transport services, with the lifting of restrictions abroad playing a key role in the decision.
Leo Express is also ready to renew its routes to Poland and Slovakia if passengers are interested. At the moment, they regularly run only selected train connections on the routes Prague – Stare Mesto – Prague and Bohumin – Prague – Bohumin until 31 May 2020 inclusive.
As of Monday, April 27, the rules for crossing state borders have been changed. EU citizens arriving in the Czech Republic for business purposes and university students from EU countries may now come to the Czech Republic.
Czech citizens are able to travel abroad, however, on their return they must submit to 14 days’ quarantine or provide a test with a negative Covid-19 result.