The 2018 FIFA World Cup is being held in Russia this year from June 14 to July 15. However, amid the excitement around one of the world’s biggest sporting events are travel advisories and safety concerns due to recent political tensions.
Here are some tips and advice for safe, hassle-free travel to Russia for the FIFA World Cup:
Do what you can before leaving to ensure a safe travel experience
When preparing for your trip, pack a money belt and make sure you have a way to keep your money, passport and Fan ID (more about this below) on your person at all times. Don’t bring valuable items, such as expensive jewelry, with you unnecessarily. If you’re spotted with expensive things, you might be a target for theft. Furthermore, leaving valuables in your hotel room can be a risk—even if they’re locked up. Also, familiarize yourself with how to locate your country’s embassy, as well as local police stations; searching for this type of information if and when you actually need it can add to an already-stressful situation. Plus, it’s a good idea to make a note of the number to call for emergencies in Russia: it’s 1-1-2.
Use Crisis24 as a resource for information
The FIFA World Cup is a major international sporting event, and among the 1 million tourists expected to attend are high-profile politicians, heads of state, and some of the world’s most high-profile athletes. As such, GardaWorld’s Crisis24 is an excellent resource for travel safety and security. It’s an information portal that provides the latest safety advisories free of charge, and lets you build your own security dashboard, which you can customize by region and category. You can also get vetted news alerts about global security in real time, by email or text. Plus, Crisis24 offers security reports for more than 200 countries, including Russia.
Keep your passport and Fan ID with you at all times
The FIFA World Cup is implementing a Fan ID system to improve both tourist convenience and overall security. To access any of the stadiums during the World Cup, you will need a valid match ticket, your Fan ID, and your passport. Be aware that Russian police have the authority to stop you and request to see your travel documents (including your passport) at any time. However, be wary of scams; there may very well be thieves posing as police officers and asking for your papers in an effort to extort money from you while they hold your documents for ransom. Be sure to ask for I.D. before giving your passport over to anyone.
Look out for potential fan violence before and after games
Be aware that violence and hooliganism can break out amidst passionate football fans, often near the stadium before or after games. Be on the lookout when you are among big crowds, and always listen to security announcements. If you see a situation escalating with the potential for violence, find a way to extricate yourself and leave the area. If you’re stuck in a crowd, go with the flow until you find a safe place.
If your company plans to send employees to Russia to attend the World Cup, GardaWorld’s Travel Security services can help you keep an eye on them to make sure they stay safe while abroad.