Russia: FIFA World Cup - 14th June - 15th July 2018
Important insights if you are travelling to Russia during the games.
There are 12 venues hosting matches in 11 cities: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Volgograd, Saransk, Sochi, Rostov- on-Don, and Yekaterinburg.
31 countries and territories have qualified for the event: joined by Russia, the host.
Nearly 2.5 million tickets have been sold, for 64 matches.
40,000 personnel and a tourist police force will be deployed to promote safety.
For full details of the event, see https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/
Take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your activities.
Follow this advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) about passports, ID, visas and migration cards: https://bit.ly/2LJdlJn and https://bit.ly/2t1eTH2
Check the latest FCO travel advice for Russia: https://bit.ly/2MiH6BO
Make sure you’re up to date with routine and necessary vaccinations before travelling.
If you rely on prescribed medication, contact your local Russian diplomatic mission to check that it is allowed in Russia.
Learn some simple Russian. It will stand you in good stead.
Once in Russia, guard against sun and heat-related illnesses by applying sun cream and drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
Avoid drinking tap water or drinks with ice, and eating uncooked food like salads.
Bear in mind that ATMs may be difficult to find outside Moscow and St Petersburg. Russia is largely a cash-based economy.
In an emergency, call 112.
Important advice from Which?
Russia may not be an EU member but, until recently, it had an agreement in place with the UK, meaning that British citizens could access Russian healthcare and vice versa. However, this was terminated in 2016...For this reason, it’s vital to have a travel insurance policy that covers you for medical expenses and emergency treatment.
In host cities, especially Moscow and St Petersburg, you may be at risk of petty crime in busy areas, hotel thefts and violent crime in bars and nightclubs.
Keep a low-profile and take sensible security precautions, especially when travelling alone, at night, or on public transport.
Take extra care of passports, credit cards and wallets/purses. Avoid carrying valuables in a backpack.
Carry ID as well as details of your next of kin.
Terror groups such as Islamic State or Al Qaeda are likely to attempt to carry out attacks during the World Cup, but Russia is likely to prioritise anti-terror operations to mitigate threats.
Avoid unsecured WiFi hotspots: they may expose you to Cyber criminals.
Bear in mind that political protests are possible, LGBT travellers may face harassment and Russian football is associated with racism and hooliganism.
Be aware of common scams, including fake tickets, taxis and airport-pick up drivers, as well as tampered-with ATMS and “money drops” on the street, where cash is deliberately dropped and then claimed back.
Consider hiring a pre-arranged driver. Road safety in Russia is poor.
Detention or arrest if you photograph military establishments and strategically important sites, such as airports.
Compulsory registration in every host city, within 72 hours of arrival.
Severe restrictions on selling and consuming alcohol in venue cities.
Adequate health facilities in Russian cities, with some private hospitals offering western-level care.
ID checks, road closures and tight security.