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Moscow mayor announces new stage of lifting COVID-19 restrictions

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has announced a new stage of lifting the restrictions introduced to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. The restrictions will be lifted in two stages: on July 13 and on August 1, the mayor informed on Thursday.

Starting July 13, wearing masks on the street will not be obligatory anymore. Moscow residents must still wear masks and gloves on public transport, in shops and other public places. Social distancing also remains mandatory.

All restrictions in the sphere of business, service industry and other spheres of activity will be lifted as of July 13, excluding sanitary requirements. Companies will be able to decide for themselves whether employees can work from home or return to the office.

All educational facilities can return to the normal working procedure starting Monday. Moscow officials expect the school year to start as usual, on September 1.

Besides, all restrictions related to the work of parks, cultural centers and other organizations will be lifted on the condition that those places will only welcome guests at 50% capacity.

Starting August 1, theaters, cinemas and concert halls with the capacity of fewer than 3,000 people will open in Moscow. They can only be filled at 50% capacity.

Also starting August 1, the stands at sporting events can be 50% filled compared to the previous requirement of 10%. City government programs for seniors will also resume their work, however, all events must be held outside.

The ban on holding mass public events outside remains in place, the mayor stated, noting that it is impossible to ensure social distancing during such events. “For the same reason, holding public events remains impossible,” Sobyanin said.

The remaining restrictions will be lifted when Moscow officials make sure that the situation is not deteriorating, and that the coronavirus infection rate continues to go down, the mayor concluded.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

To date, 707,301 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 481,316 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 10,843 fatalities nationwide.

Header: MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JUNE 7, 2020 – Girls are seen by the main entrance to Gorky Park. Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

Source: TASS