Small passenger boats bring visitors from the port of Kem on the mainland to the monastery archipelago of Solovki in the White Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Solovki reopens for tourists and pilgrims a year after closing

Visitors holding a certificate proving a negative test for COVID-19, have antibodies or vaccination will be allowed to the archipelago in the White Sea, home to Russian Orthodox Solovetsky monastery complex.
May 14, 2021

The main island of Solovki is one of the most famous tourist destinations in northwestern Russia with tens of thousands of visitors annually. 

Since June last year, however, tight COVID-19 restrictions have made it practically impossible for pilgrims and tourists to go onshore. Only local residents have been allowed to travel to and from mainland Arkhangelsk or Karelia. 

The Governor’s office in Arkhangelsk has now issued a decree lifting the restrictions from Saturday, May 15, regional news-site 29.ru reported. 

Non-resident travelers will need to provide a certificate upon boarding the boat or plane, and hotels at Solovki will also ask for the same documentation. 

Only people who can show a negative coronavirus test no older than three days before arrival, a certificate for antibodies no older than two months, or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate no older than six months will be allowed.

Russia on Friday confirmed 9,462 new coronavirus cases and 393 deaths. A majority of Russians are still not vaccinated. The Moscow Times reported that about 10% of the population have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. 

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