As an England fan for many years, I’ve been to many different parts of the world, following the boys in white. I’ve been to pretty much every country in Europe for qualifiers, friendlies and I’ve even had the pleasure of being at a tournament or two.
World Cup 2018
Update from 04/09 - A number of news agencies and media outlets reported today that there were warnings by government officials advising against traveling to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. I checked official government websites of several countries - nothing has fundamentally changed. Read more here.
There is no denying that Australians love their football, or soccer, as they like to call it. However, the FIFA World Cup which is being held from the 14 June 2018 to the 15 July 2018 in Russia is drawing more than its fair share of controversy. And this time it has nothing to do with the fans, the players or even the sport in general.
Russia is starting a "pilot" tax-free shopping program, for now limited to the cities that will host the World Cup 2018 and a couple of others. The country-wide tax free shopping program is expected by the end of this year.
The pilot program's start date was announced as April 10th 2018.
Who is eligible for Tax Free Shopping?
U.S. State Department advisory hasn't changed since January
As of today the State Department hasn't changed its advisory, it stays at Level 3 - "Reconsider Travel" - due to terrorism and harassment.
Is it serious? Yes it is. Are the risks legitimate? Yes they are. Are they new? No they are not.
Is the State Department worried that it won't be able to assist to Americans visiting Russia after the Russians expelled 60 US diplomats? If yes - not enough to change their Advisory after that.