How Long Until Western Governments Issue Covid-19 Health & Travel Passports?

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Russia has begun issuing travel passes issued by local Government offices

Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

Russia has begun asking businesses and responsible management in the country to take responsibility for employees working or having to travel out of the office or from home.

Procedures in place are as follows:

  • Employees requesting such permits have to go to a specific Government website. In Moscow, it is the City of Moscow Official website.
  • Employees must provide their employer’s ID code and qualifying certification. Only certain employers as businesses are permitted to receive such clearance to have employees working externally.
  • If approved, individuals will receive an approval via email which they can download on their phone or print out.
  • Approvals contain details of the employee, employer and related data.
  • Penalties for misuse can involve heavy fines and imprisonment.

Interestingly there are no provisions at present for medical clearance to be required prior to obtaining such a document. A redacted copy of such a certificate is reproduced as follows


The question other countries governments, and businesses will face is how to manage and monitor individuals and / or employees as being fit or having permission to travel. There are already been talk of airlines requiring passengers to obtain medical clearance two weeks prior to flying and to undergo a two week quarantine from then until the flight.

Russia’s current system may not be ideal – although it almost certainly can be extended to include medical clearance. What similar systems countries globally will start to see introduced is a matter for conjecture, however they may well be introduced to the West from countries with rather stricter control and monitoring systems in place. Could ID cards, driving licences and passports in future be utilized to contain medical data such as vaccinations and recent health checks?

Animals for example have to carry them, and also face quarantine periods. Welcome to the new future, as the technology and delivery of such systems is already in place.

What has just started in Russia can be expected to follow shortly within the CIS, EAEU and countries such as China. Western democracies long used to civil freedoms may yet have to balance health considerations against a small reduction in individual rights of anonymity.

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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