New COVID-19 restrictions

November 13
Healthcare

Additional measures to fight the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic are being brought in, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote in his blog.

“A week ago, it seemed that the number of new cases had stabilised at a high but non-critical level. However, we are once again witnessing a substantial increase over a period of the past few days or so. On Monday, 9 November, we recorded 6,897 cases, the most we’ve seen during the entire pandemic,” Mr Sobyanin noted.

In mid-August, only one percent of all polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests yielded positive results, he pointed out. This share increased to 5.8 percent in late October and now totals 7.5 percent. “Unfortunately, we can expect the situation to deteriorate still further in the coming few weeks. The number of acute respiratory viral diseases and other seasonal respiratory illnesses is growing slowly but surely. This, too, increases the load on the local healthcare system which is already working at the limit of its capacity,” Mr Sobyanin wrote.

Due to this situation, the city is introducing additional measures to combat the COVID-19 infection for two months, from 13 November 2020 to 15 January 2021.

The students of higher education institutions, affiliated with the city, and colleges will have to study remotely, and their travel cards will be temporarily blocked. The students of federal and private colleges are also advised to study remotely. School pupils as well as college and university students already studying remotely are advised to stay at home too.

As of 13 November, restaurants and clubs will not be permitted to have any customers from 11 pm to 6 am. Public catering services, shows and other entertainment will be suspended at night clubs, bars, discotheques, karaoke and bowling clubs, carting centres, and some other places as well during this period of time. All clubs and restaurants will be permitted to sell food if it is delivered by courier services.

“Catering services are advised to use the check-in system for registering telephone numbers of clients and employees,” Mr Sobyanin noted.

People will be allowed to visit theatres, cinemas and concert halls that should be filled to not more than 25 percent of their capacity. Mass physical fitness and sports events involving spectators can only be conducted with the approval of the Moscow Department of Sports.

Cultural, educational, leisure, plus entertainment events and public shows as well as exhibitions involving visitors are temporarily suspended. Cultural institutions will once again hold online exhibitions, shows, public lectures, training sessions, presentations, workshops and advertising events. The restrictions don’t apply to official events, held by executive agencies.

Play-rooms, entertainment facilities and camps, including those in parks and leisure centres as well as restaurants and cafés inside buildings will be temporarily closed. It is still possible to hold open-air events for children.

The new restrictions have been introduced for a period of two months in the run-up to the winter holidays. “By curtailing the leisure and entertainment industry’s work in advance, we want to rid institutions and businesses from extra expenses incurred by the unexpected cancellation of concerts and other festive events,” Mr Sobyanin explained.

The Moscow Government is trying to introduce the shortest possible inevitable restrictions and to extend them if necessary. “However, we acted differently this time: the new restrictions have been introduced for two months, up to 15 January 2021,” he added. Restrictions are a highly unpleasant but essential measure. “I hope that they prove effective, and that they will save thousands of lives and the health of many Moscow residents,” Mr Sobyanin said.

Moscow continues to post more confirmed coronavirus cases. The city now has over 15,000 beds for COVID-19 patients, and 70 percent of them are already occupied. If necessary, reserve beds are available.

The city is already moving to contain the infection. People must wear face masks and gloves in public places and observe social distancing. Those over the age of 65 and anybody with chronic health disorders need to stay at home. Employers must persuade 30 percent of their staff to work remotely.

Source: mos.ru

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