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Going to the World Cup?

Friday, June 15, 2018

If you are off to Russia for FIFA, ensure you take the right precautions

International SOS and Control Risks, which are medical and security specialists, have developed travel safety tips for those travelling to Russia for the World Cup. These offer an overview of the health and security environment in Russia, risk ratings from a health and security perspective as well as other relevant travel information.

Timur Baiguzhinov, security expert at International SOS and Control Risks commented, “With thousands of people expected to attend the World Cup in Russia, risks can arise from a wide range of sources.   Use of ground transportation, awareness of petty crime in crowded spaces, security at accommodations and visa requirements, among other considerations, could all potentially result in disruption to business arrangements.”

“Organisations, their employees and hosted business contacts should have access to the most up-to-date advice and assistance.  Information such as the new regulation stipulating that all foreign visitors must register with the relevant authorities within three days of arrival is critical.  We also advise that visitor’s carry their passports at all times, only use official taxis and consider that taxi drivers may only speak Russian, and to avoid posting any political statements or discussing potentially contentious topics online.”

Dr Olivier Barles, regional medical director at International SOS adds, “While many medical facilities in Russia have been renovated in the recent years, visitors should be aware that the care standards do not always fully match international ones. Multi-language skills and requirement for payment in local currency are important issues to consider. We would urge organisations and their travellers to plan medical support before they travel and make contingencies for any minor ailments as well as in the event of a more serious medical emergency.”


If staying in private accommodation check with your host that you are registered with the local migration services body within 72 hours of your arrival to a host city.

Avoid self-driving and only use official taxis. Ensure that you have your hotel and other key addresses written down in Russian and an online/offline translation service available. In the event of a security issue where immediate language support is required, contact your nearest International SOS Assistance Centre.

Avoid overt displays of wealth by leaving valuables in a secure location (i.e. hotel safe) and only carrying small amounts of cash on your person.

If you are a LGTBQ traveller, avoid displays of affection in public, as Russian legislation considers the “promotion of homosexual propaganda” to be illegal.

Monitor international diplomatic affairs for issues that may impact you based on your profile and avoid discussing politics in public settings. Carefully consider any social media postings.

In the event that you notice unrest brewing, vacate the area and return to a secure location (i.e. hotel or local office) until the situation stabilises.

Adopt measures to safeguard information security. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks and turn off your mobile phone’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functions when not in use.

Travellers should have medical plans in place in case of any issues.

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