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10 Apr, 2020 17:01

Battling Covid-19: Moscow to ‘gradually’ introduce pass system for movements around city amid partial lockdown

Battling Covid-19: Moscow to ‘gradually’ introduce pass system for movements around city amid partial lockdown

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has announced the city will begin implementing a pass system designed to tighten control over people’s movement in a bid to tackle the outbreak of coronavirus.

Russia’s capital has seen a surge in cases in recent days. The new procedure will begin rolling out next week and in the first stage the passes will be required for those who need to travel to work. The next step aims to deal with “other trips.”

Should it be necessary, authorities will also implement the pass system for movements “within the [city's] districts.”

According to the statement from the mayor’s office, people will need to apply for the passes, and authorities will have the right to check whether the information provided is genuine.

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“The pass system for moving around the city brings inevitable additional restrictions and inconveniences. But when it comes to the health and lives of a huge number of people there is no other choice. Especially when we see that, unfortunately, not everyone complies with the already established restrictions,” Sobyanin said.

Moscow law enforcement has already registered over 400 violations of the self-isolation rules, while at least nine people have been fined for breaking them.

Authorities also announced a set of additional restrictions aimed at tightening the city’s partial lockdown. Measures to be implemented between April 13 and 19 will include the shutting down of all non-essential businesses and organizations, a halt to car sharing services, and the suspension of construction and maintenance works – with exceptions made for vital infrastructure, such as the Moscow metro.

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That said, food shops, drug stores, government buildings and crucial enterprises – producers of personal protection equipment, for instance – will remain open.

On Friday, more than 1,100 Covid-19 diagnoses were confirmed, bringing the city’s total to 7,822. Nationwide, nearly 12,000 people have contracted the disease, with 94 succumbing to it and 795 already recovered.

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