Russia will begin to ease its coronavirus-related restrictions, President Vladimir Putin has announced. The exit from the partial lockdown will be gradual and not too fast, he added.
“Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the joint non-working period for the whole country and for all the sectors of its economy ends,” Putin said during a televised speech on Monday.
“But the fight against the epidemic does not end. The danger persists, even in areas where the situation is relatively safe.
The non-working period was announced in Russia in late March and has been extended several times since then.
The conclusion of the ‘holiday’ period allows Russia’s regional authorities to begin lifting Covid-related restrictions.
This process will not be fast, Putin said, and all anti-coronavirus precautionary measures will remain in place. Any mass gatherings will remain banned across the country as well.
The mandatory self-isolation regime that has been in place for weeks across Russia will be prolonged for the elderly (65 years and older), as well as for individuals suffering from chronic diseases.
The Russian president warned regional authorities against taking uniform steps in lifting the restrictions, stressing that such measures must be undertaken only after careful analysis of the situation on the ground locally.
Putin also announced additional welfare payments for families with children, as well as new stimulus payments for care workers and medics.
“We’ve chosen the path of saving lives and the health of people, and we have achieved a lot. It depends on each of us to allow more and more regions to return to normal life.”
Russia smashed past the 200,000 mark on Sunday, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases appears to be growing steadily. Overall, some 220,000 cases of the disease, including over 2,000 deaths, were registered in the country as of Monday. Nearly 40,000 people have already recovered from Covid-19.
Moscow remains the main coronavirus hotspot in Russia, as over a half of all the cases and deaths originated in the city. Over the past few days, however, the dynamics of the spread in the capital have seemingly begun to slow down.