Facing lockdown, Russians jet off abroad

Workplaces across Russia, as well as shops other than supermarkets and pharmacies, are set to shut on Oct. 29 until Nov. 7. As businesses set to wind down, travel agents are reporting a surge in bookings.

"Clearly no one wanted to stay in Moscow, because what can you do here, so demand went up by about five times, for sure," said Orange Sun Tour travel agent manager Mkhissin Rami.

For Egypt, the most popular destination, the price of a week-long hotel break for two had surged to about 150,000 roubles ($2,130) compared with just over 100,000 normally, he told Reuters.

As bookings fill up, Russians who are desperate to escape the lockdown are taking what they can.

Vladimir Zinovyev said he bought a tour abroad, despite it not being exactly what he wanted.

"It's very hard to find something. It's unreal," he said.

When asked to comment on the phenomenon of people escaping lockdown by flying abroad, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday (October 27) that medical professionals had expressed concerns and that there could be epidemiological consequences.

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