Russia to ease restrictions on domestic tourism from June 1

The Russian government will gradually ease restrictions on domestic tourism starting June 1, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said at a conference on Monday.

According to the deputy prime minister, domestic tourism in Russia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with the tourism loss exceeding 150 million rubles (2.1 million U.S. dollars). As part of the efforts to revive the national economy, the government is planning a safe and controlled launch of domestic tourism in the first half year.

At the first stage, licensed sanatoriums will be opened from June 1. Meanwhile, the government is working on the rules of further reopening of hotels, resorts, beaches, cruises and other tourism facilities, and will be announced before June, Chernyshenko said.

However, the risks of another wave of coronavirus infections in the country remain high, and thus, outbound tourism is not recommended, Chernyshenko stressed.

The same day, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also urged Russians not to travel abroad on holiday this summer. "It's better and safer to spend the holidays in your own country," he said.

Russia, which has reported the world's third most coronavirus cases, confirmed 8,946 new infections on Monday, bringing its nationwide tally to 353,427. Officials reported 92 new deaths, pushing the toll to 3,633.

(With input from Reuters)

(Cover: The Saint Basil's Cathedral at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. /VCG)