Russia plans to reopen its tourism industry by July 1

Russia’s tourism industry, its resorts, spas, hotels and airlines, could be back in business by July 1, even though the Covid-19 epidemic is not currently over. This is the opinion of the president of the parliamentary committee for culture and sport, Mikhail Dégtiarev. In statements to the Russian media, Dégtiarev said yesterday that “we hope that from 1 July air and land connections within Russia will be resumed and hotels (…) also spas and sanatoriums will be reopened”.

Photo: Schelkanov

Apart from the tourist attraction of the big Russian cities and the medieval routes of the “Golden Ring” (Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Suzdal and other beautiful locations), Russia offers sun and beach at different points on the Black Sea coast, Sochi is one of the best known, as well as mountains in Altai and the North Caucasus and forests all over the country, especially in Siberia. All this without forgetting the adventure tourism in the Arctic and the Kamchatka peninsula. The director of the state tourism agency Rosturizm, Zarina Dogúzova, assures that a gradual de-escalation in the sector will start already in June.

However, Moscow, a city that together with St. Petersburg absorbs in normal conditions most of the cultural, gastronomic and shopping tourism, both foreign and local, is not going to be ready to receive travelers right away. This was stated yesterday by the mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobianin, in front of the cameras of the Rossiya-1 channel.

“To say that we have beaten the coronavirus would be a very irresponsible statement. Just look at the number of cases, the scale (…) we have about 18,000 seriously ill people in hospitals,” Sobianin said. In his words, “the restrictions will last a long time yet.

The capital city councillor pointed out that: “We are still in a serious danger zone. Walks will be possible when we see that the number of deaths from coronavirus is decreasing and not growing, when we have far fewer seriously ill people in hospitals, when every day we detect not thousands of new cases, but hundreds or tens, or even less.

The Russian capital has recorded more than 150,000 coronavirus infections and more than 1,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. In the country as a whole, there are more than 300,000 infected and around 3,000 deaths.

Author: Rafael M. Muñeco, El Comercio