July 24, 2020 / 10:40 AM / 15 days ago

Russia to resume some international flights from August 1

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia plans to resume some international flights from Aug. 1, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Friday, but the list of destinations will initially be limited to Tanzania, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

International flights were grounded on March 30 after the imposition of lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 800,000 people in Russia.

Shares of Russia’s top airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM) rose by nearly 3% after the announcement of a partial resumption.

Golikova said the decreasing number of infections allowed Russia to resume international flights from airports in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don.

Specifically, she said flights would resume to and from London, Turkish cities Istanbul and Ankara and the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania from Aug. 1. More holiday destinations in Turkey would be added from Aug. 10, Golikova added.

Golikova said that Russia would take care to ensure that the resumption in flights “does not lead to a new appearance of imported (coronavirus) cases on Russian territory”.

Speaking on state television, she added that authorities were working on a list of more countries where air travel could be resumed on a mutual basis.

In June Russia announced a partial reopening of its borders, saying it would allow people who needed to work, study, get medical treatment or look after relatives to travel abroad.

Other flights bringing home Russians stranded abroad continued while international flights were on hold.

Russia continues to report thousands of new COVID-19 infections daily. Its nationwide tally is 800,849, the fourth-highest in the world, with 13,046 deaths.

Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin, Alexander Marrow and Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by David Goodman and Frances Kerry

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