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Be on the ball and make sure you're travel aware this World Cup


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The World Cup is rapidly approaching, and many football fans from all around the world will soon be embarking on their trip to Moscow to watch their country’s team play in the tournament.

Although it is a very exciting event and many fans have been waiting in anticipation for a long time now, due to the recent political tensions between Russia and the UK there may be an air of hostility for those travelling out there this summer.

People must be extremely aware of their behaviour in the country to avoid any further tensions or conflict. This article is therefore a preparation guide for those who are heading out to Moscow this summer, and so it discusses all the do's and the don’ts to consider during your trip.

Preparing for and flying to Moscow

If you haven’t already done so you will need to apply for a visa at least four weeks prior to your trip, as it does take about 20 days to process.

To find more information on how to apply for a visa, check out both the advice on the FCO website and VFS Global, who are responsible for Russian visa applications.

When entering Russia, you will be expected to sign a migration card which is produced electronically at passport control in the major airports. Some airports may require you to complete the migration card manually and you will have to do this each time you enter Russia, even if you have a multiple entry visa.

Whilst you are in the airport, you must act responsibly and also look smart and presentable; no shabby or dirty clothing should be worn as you will be fined for doing so.

Also, when waiting for a flight in a Russian airport, you will not be allowed to rest or sleep on the floor as it will be rather busy and you may again get fined for clogging up the walkway areas.

Travelling around Moscow

During the World Cup the roads will be busy, and all public transport will be packed too. If you are planning on getting a taxi, you will need to pre-book quite a lot in advance to ensure that you can get one that will take you to the stadium on time. The Foreign Office warns that taxi scammers have become a major problem at Russian airports and many official taxis can be un-licensed, so you may want to book through a receptionist at your hotel to ensure that your taxi is legitimate.

Another option is to search on the internet; for example, you could type into Google ‘English speaking taxi service in Moscow’ and then look through the options, paying close attention to the reviews on the listings.

If you can attempt to speak a little bit of Russian by learning a few main phrases, then it will be very well received by the taxi drivers.

If you are planning on hiring a car instead, you will need to be extra vigilant when driving around as the road safety in Russia is rather poor in comparison to the UK. Also, like in any other country, it is common practice for the police to stop motorists for spot checks and Russia holds a zero-tolerance for drink-driving. What’s more, any accidents that happen under the influence of alcohol will not be covered by your insurance.

If you are travelling by rail, then you must be aware that at every station there could be security checks, and full body searches will be taking place, in the same way as at an airport.

At the stadium

Due to such great tensions between Russia and the UK, football fans must act responsibly in the stadium, thus showing respect for the Russian fans and avoiding any confrontation at all costs.

Russian football fanatics are known for their violence, and in the Euros 2016 they were given a suspended qualification due to injuring 35 people in the stadium in France. Therefore, it would be strongly advised to refrain from saying or doing anything that might cause offense to the Russian football fans, as you do not want to end up in a dangerous situation yourself and if you act respectfully towards them, then they will show respect back for you.

Another important thing to mention is that because it will be so busy, there will be a lot of pick-pocketers lurking about and if you are not aware of where your possessions are at all times, you will be made their next target! It would therefore be wise not to drink so much that you are unable to look after yourself and your belongings.

The Foreign Office has produced a whole online booklet for those who are travelling to Moscow this summer and this explains to fans all they need to know about their time away.

Lead image: By, CC BY 4.0

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