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MFAT's advice for NZers going to Sochi

Sat 11 Jan 2014 In: Features View at NDHA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has released fresh travel advice for anyone heading to Sochi for the Winter Olympics or Paralympic Games over February and March. Under anti-gay Russian laws, foreigners can be jailed, fined or deported for anything classed as ‘gay propaganda’. There have also been threats of terrorist attacks made against the Olympics. The New Zealand Government has already promised to send a diplomat to the Winter Olympics to keep a watch on New Zealanders. Here is MFAT’s latest advice for New Zealanders planning on attending the Sochi Olympics: Read this bulletin in conjunction with our Russia travel advisory. Register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade so we can make contact and account for your well-being in an emergency. Subscribe to receive the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's free travel advisory updates. Ensure they have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. Ensure they have a valid New Zealand passport, with at least 6 months validity from the date of their intended departure from Russia. Ensure they have an entry visa for travel to Russia. Ticket holders for Olympic events will not be exempt from the requirement to hold an entry visa. New Zealanders should apply for a visa from their nearest Russian Embassy well in advance of their travel to Russia. Accommodation Ensure that hotel bookings are confirmed prior to departing for Russia as it is anticipated there will be hotel shortages over the games period. Ticketing Only purchase tickets from an official Winter Olympics retailer. Spectators may be refused entry with tickets purchased from an unauthorised retailer. It is illegal to re-sell tickets. You will need to obtain a Spectator Pass in addition to your entry ticket. See the Official Sochi Winter Olympics website and Guide for Spectators for further information. Security The Russian government is devoting considerable resources to ensure the Sochi Olympics are safe and incident-free. Travellers should expect increased police presence and enhanced security measures in and around the Olympic venues. New Zealander's are advised to comply with all security screening procedures and venue rules and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. New Zealanders travelling to Russia should be aware that threats have been made by terrorist groups against the Sochi Olympics. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to monitor the security situation as the Olympics draw near and over the games period. In the event the New Zealand Government receives information of any change to the security risk level, this will be reflected in the Russia travel advisory. Consular Assistance in Sochi A Consular Adviser from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be based in Sochi for the duration of the Winter Olympics to provide routine and emergency consular assistance to New Zealanders in need. The Consular Adviser will be based in a joint Consular office in Adler, shared with the British, Australian and Canadian consular teams. New Zealand citizens requiring consular assistance in Russia should contact the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow. Its contact details are: Street Address: 44 Ulitsa Povarskaya, Moscow 121069, Russia Telephone: +7 495 956 3579 Email: Website: you going to Sochi? Email Jacqui Stanford - 11th January 2014    

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Saturday, 11th January 2014 - 10:11am

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