According to Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, the country is reopening its borders to international students from at least 21 countries worldwide, under the condition that they test negative for COVID-19, or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus in a pre and post-departure test. Russian domestic students have returned to full-time, on-campus learning as of February 8, 2021.
The Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, or Rospotrebnadzor, states that students must have a Russian or English document proving they have tested negative for COVID-19 less than three days before their departure for Russia. Upon arrival, students must self-isolate and undergo another test within three days. If the test is negative, they are permitted to leave quarantine.
Eligible students will be from any of the 21 countries with which Russia has resumed flight service. As of February 23, this list is Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.
To prevent the spread of the British CCP virus variant, Russia has stopped airline service with the UK until March 16. At least one Russian citizen was infected with this variant upon their return from Britain in January.
Approximately 300,000 international students had their travel plans barred by pandemic travel restrictions. Around 100,000 students were forced to leave Russia at the start of the pandemic and have not returned.
Russia’s international student population has gradually grown over the past ten years. Most of these students come from former Soviet Republics, as well as Asia.
According to official records, Russia has 4,177,330 cases of coronavirus and 83,630 deaths to date. These statistics make the nation one of the worst-hit countries of the pandemic, along with the US, India, Brazil, and the UK.
Russia now has a domestically produced vaccine, Sputnik V, which is being distributed across Russia and various other parts of the world. According to the British medical journal The Lancet, Sputnik V’s trial on around 20,000 Russians proved it to be 91% effective at preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
However, according to a recent poll on 1,601 citizens across 50 Russian regions by The Levada Center, 62% of respondents did not want to be vaccinated with Sputnik V.
ICEF Monitor. (February 24, 2021). Russia reopens to international students.