MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will lift its COVID-19 ban on flights to countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Mongolia, Costa Rica and Argentina from Dec. 1, the government coronavirus task force said on Tuesday.

The government stopped normal commercial flights abroad when the pandemic struck last year, but it has since been gradually relaxing the restrictions. The flight bans dealt a heavy blow to Russia’s airlines.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov and Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans)