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Azerbaijan Eases Air Travel Restrictions for Citizens of Turkey and Russia

By Gunay Hajiyeva June 9, 2021


A view from the Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku, Azerbaijan / Heydar Aliyev Airport

Azerbaijan has eased Covid-19 air travel restrictions on some visitors ahead of the summer tourist season, a move that will open the country’s doors to vaccinated or recovered citizens of Turkey and Russia starting on June 10. 

The Operative Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan made the relevant decision last week, explaining it with positive dynamics observed in the epidemiological situation in both countries.

According to the decision, upon arrival in Azerbaijan, travelers from Russia and Turkey should submit a certificate that would provide proof that they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the disease. In addition, they will have to provide evidence of negative tests for coronavirus carried out no later than 72 hours before departure. 

Travelers aged between 1 and 18 will need to submit only a negative PCR test result.

All airlines operating direct flights to Azerbaijan must register only passengers who meet the relevant requirements. Passengers who do not comply with the requirements are not allowed to enter the country and will be returned on the same aircraft at the carrier’s expense.

Since early 2020, Azerbaijan has shut down its borders with other countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The opening of flights from Russia to Azerbaijan, according to some experts, could offer a new transit hub for the Russian tourists willing to travel to Turkey. 

The Russian government has recently extended the restrictions on direct flights from Russia to Turkey until June 21 due to what was explained as an “alarming coronavirus situation” in Turkey. Russia first imposed a ban on flights to Turkey on April 15. 

Experts are convinced that Azerbaijan will be in demand as a transit direction for flights to Turkey by Russians amidst the current circumstances. At the same time, some of the vaccinated Russian tourists could opt for Azerbaijan as a summer vacation destination given the well-developed tourism infrastructure of the country and the availability of few countries for recreation.

The novel coronavirus, first identified in China, has infected over 5.3 million in Turkey so far. According to the latest data, the virus has killed more than 48,000, while around 5.2 million recovered from the disease. At the same time, more than 5.1 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Russia since the pandemic began. The nation reported more than 124,000 deaths from Covid-19, while 4.7 million have recovered.

Meanwhile, a total of 334,917 infection cases have been registered in Azerbaijan as of June 9. The virus claimed 4,948 lives in the country, while 327,626 people recovered.

The latest data compiled by the Operative Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers show that 2,624,876 jabs have been administered in Azerbaijan since the rollout of the vaccination campaign in mid-January. The government authorized the use of Chinese CoronaVAC, British-Swedish Vaxzevria (previously AstraZeneca), Russian Sputnik V, and German-American Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.