Please note – the views in the following feature are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Safe Travels Magazine. Before travel, we recommend that you always do your own research, read travel advisories and buy appropriate travel insurance.

Adam Usher, Director Physical and Asset Protection at MAST

Website: http://www.mast-security.com/
Twitter: @Mast_security
Instagram: @mastsecurity
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/2987168/

After a successful career in the Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit, he moved into a hostile security operations role in Afghanistan. On return to the UK Adam moved into a senior security operations manager role with a leading FTSE 250 company, before joining MAST as Director of High Net Worth Physical and Asset Protection. 


Safe travel advice for the World Cup 2018

This article aims to give you, the football fan, some useful information to aid your safe travel to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

The matches are due to be held between 14 June – 15 July 2018 across 11 cities including:

  • Ekaterinburg
  • Kaliningrad (England Group Game)
  • Kazan
  • Moscow (final)
  • Nizhny Novgorod (England Group Game)
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Samara
  • Sochi
  • Rostov-on-Don
  • Volgograd (England Group Game)
  • Saransk

Group Games – planning

Englands Group games are as follows:

Date: 18th June, 21:00
Location: Volgograd, Volgograd Arena
England flag - small
England Turkey
 

 

Date: 24th June, 15:00
Location: Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
England flag - small Panama flag - small
England Panama
 

 

Date: 28th June, 20:00
Location: Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Stadium
England flag - small Belgium flag - small
England Belgium

You can view a full schedule of the games on the BBC.

World Cup Travel website and travel app.

All things relating to travel, accommodation and tickets plus more can be found here.

http://welcome2018.com/en/

It is an excellent website and there is an app you can download to help you once you are there.

Background

The World Cup offers the opportunity for Russia to put on a show domestically and globally.

This will be a significant police and security presence to maintain everyone’s safety and security.

At a personal level it is important to be aware of the cultural and language differences and be aware of how this might impact you.

It is better to travel with an organised tour group but if arranging you own travel planning is essential.

Cultural differences

Russia has different laws and attitudes towards a range of values, notably homosexuality and race. Those planning to visit Russia during the summer should be aware of these sensitivities

Russia is passionate about football, but there have been historical problems with hooliganism.  Any confrontations should be avoided as the levels of violence could be high and the police and security services have demonstrated a zero tolerance to any such activity.

Alongside cultural difference approximately 81% of the population only speak Russian. Although English is spoken in tourist areas some of the cities are off the normal tourist trail.  There will be lots of support in place during the world cup but travellers should not rely on this and should research and learn some basic Russian to aid their visit.

Police / Crime

The security presence around stadiums will be high to deter crime.

Football fans should remain constantly alert to their surroundings and keep together, preferably in organised parties. The World Cup is a big opportunity for Russia, but a high influx of tourist will present an easy target for criminals. Remain vigilant on the subway in Moscow in particular.

The Russian police have the right to stop pedestrians to check their documents, so carry your passport or a copy with the visa and registration stamp with you at all times.

Alcohol

Remember that the sale of alcohol in stores is forbidden from 11pm to 8am and don’t buy it from people on the streets.

Travelling

Should you be traveling from game to game, be mindful of the distances. Some areas could take up to 3 days to drive. For example, Sochi to St Petersburg can take over 27hrs by road.   Air or rail travel is the most secure and quickest way to travel.

In cities the best way to get a taxi is to use an online service or a mobile app. There are almost no private cab drivers left in Russia

The website below provides you with all you need to know about booking airline or train tickets between host cities.

www.welcome2018.com/en/

Some useful contact information whilst in Russia is below, make a note of this in case of emergency.

British Embassy Moscow
121099 Moscow
Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya 10
Russia
Telephone: +7 495 956 7200
Email: ukinrussia@fco.gov.uk

Police: 102
Ambulance: 103
General Emergency: 112

A summer sunset in Moscow - the beautiful views England fans will enjoy when they head to Russia to watch the 2018 World Cup.Coated with gold, Moscow, by kishjar on Flickr

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