MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. Starting March 16, Russia will partly suspend regular air service with all EU states excluding flights between Moscow and EU capitals. Flights to Switzerland and Norway, except the ones to Geneva and Oslo, have also been suspended, Russia’s task force for combating and preventing the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) told reporters on Friday.
"In order to ensure the security of the state, to protect the citizens’ health and to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus infection on Russian territory, the task force has decided to suspend passenger flights starting 00:00 March 16, 2020 Moscow time from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of EU member states and back, excluding regular flights between Moscow and EU capitals arriving and departing from Sheremetyevo Terminal F," the message said.
Regular air service with Switzerland, excluding flights from Moscow to Geneva, and with Norway, except for flights from Moscow to Oslo, has also been suspended.
Charter flights to these states will still be operated to transport citizens of the EU, Switzerland and Norway back to their home countries and to transport Russian citizens to the Russian Federation.
Earlier, Russia partly suspended air service with China, South Korea and Iran. On Wednesday March 11, Russia partly restricted flights to and from Germany, Spain, Italy and France. Regular flights to Barcelona, Munich and Frankfurt were still operated under those measures.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. On March 11, WHO officially characterized the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The disease has spread to over 110 countries. According to official data, over 134,000 people have been infected with the virus globally, and over 5,000 have died. There are 45 confirmed cases in Russia.