Russia – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Do not travel to Russia due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Russia a due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Russia. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Russia.
Do Not Travel to:
- The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
- Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.
Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel, who are visiting or residing in Russia have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained by Russian officials and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. For this reason, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has advised all U.S. government and Department of Defense personnel to consider carefully travel to Russia. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce the law against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.
Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Russia nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from Russia.
Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide services to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Russia:
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on news information.
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
- Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Russia.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations and a plan to contact family to let them know you are safe. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Do Not Travel
Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.
Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Crimea – Do Not Travel
The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.