Russia halts all flights at midnight on Friday, including for repatriation

Russia on Friday said it was temporarily suspending all flights in and out of the country from midnight, including those for repatriating citizens, to limit the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus infections.
The country's coronavirus operational center said the suspension applied to all charter flights bringing Russians home and taking foreign citizens away, and that those wishing to fly will have to fill out a special form, which will be available from Saturday.
The government said it had allocated 500 million roubles ($6.5 million) to the foreign ministry to pay for the temporary stay of those citizens stranded abroad.
Russia, which has reported 4,149 cases of the coronavirus, and 34 deaths, suspended all regular international flights on March 27, but had said that flights for repatriating citizens would continue.
Russia's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said 25,000 Russians abroad had appealed for help getting home, with many still stranded as measures to curb the spread of coronavirus have limited travel options.
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