Russia is restricting flights to and from EU member countries, Norway and Switzerland over the COVID-19 pandemic now raging in Europe, exempting only regular flights from Moscow to their capital cities and charter evacuation trips.
Temporary flight limitations will go into effect starting March 16, said the government’s center for combating the spread of the infection.
However, regular flights to capitals of EU member nations, as well as Oslo and Geneva, will continue through Terminal F of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport.
Charter flights bringing Russians back to the homeland and repatriating the nationals of other countries will continue as well.
The announcement comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Europe has become the new center of the COVID-19 Corona-virus epidemic, with more cases reported daily than at the peak of the contagion in China, where the virus reportedly originated in December last year.
Russia has already temporarily banned entry to almost anyone coming from Italy, as tourists who recently traveled to that country – currently the hardest-hit EU member – account for the majority of cases registered in Russia so far.
Moscow is the hub for much of Russia’s air and rail travel. The capital has been on high alert for a week already, putting everyone returning from travel to affected countries in 14-day self-quarantine.
Russia is urging all employers in the city of over 12 million people to be on the lookout for symptoms among their workers, so they can be quarantined and the workplaces sanitized.
As of March 13, there have been over 132,000 cases of COVID-19 across 123 countries and territories, with more than 5,000 deaths.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Health News 2020.