Russian Immigration To Maintain Covid Checks For Chinese Nationals Crossing Russian Borders

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Anna Popova, the Russian Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) has ordered that epidemiological control continues on the Russian border as China has changed travel rules. China recently relaxed its covid restrictions, and is allowing mass movement across the country as well as re-opening airports and ports. Russia has a 4,209.3 km long border with China, and eight major border crossings.

The restrictions Russia is placing on Chinese travellers will not change the current regime, but it will mean that Chinese nationals using the regular freight transport will still need to undergo Covid tests when crossing into Russia. There is unlikely to be any major impact as this system is already in place.

Anna Popova ordered that “control be continued at border checkpoints amid changed travel rules for Chinese citizens” Rospotrebnadzor stated, also mentioning that the the Covid-19 situation in Russia “is quite stable.” “Slightly less than 22,000 cases were registered in Russia on the first week of 2023. The incidence rate went down 40% week-on-week,” it said. 99% of all cases recorded over the past week in Russia were identified as the Omicron variant.

The Chinese authorities are lifting international travel restrictions, which have been in effect since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Persons arriving in China since January 8 need a negative test for Covid-19 but do not have to quarantine. China resumed the issuance of regular visas and temporary residence permits on Sunday. Nonetheless, with the mass movement of Chinese nationals across the country at this moment due to the Chinese Spring Festival, incidents of Covid transmission are certain to rise – Russia’s moves should limit the impact along Russia’s borders.

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