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All night party, interrupted: Moscow announces new Covid-19 regulations for nightclubs, forcing patrons to register via QR code

All night party, interrupted: Moscow announces new Covid-19 regulations for nightclubs, forcing patrons to register via QR code
Clubbing in party hotspot Moscow will be slightly disrupted for the coming weeks after the capital's mayor decreed that visitors to nightclubs will have to register upon entry using a QR code or by SMS starting from Monday.

Sergey Sobyanin said that the new restrictions are designed to counter the spread of Covid-19 and are being trialled in the hope of avoiding the sort of severe lockdowns currently being imposed in similar large European cities. 

By scanning the code or sending an SMS to a designated number, guests will be making themselves available for a track-and-trace contact, should one of them develop a confirmed case of the coronavirus. .

“Of course, registering phone numbers alone will not prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” Sobyanin wrote in his blog today. “However, in case of subsequent detection in one of the visitors, it will be possible to notify all those present that they are at risk and must be promptly tested for Covid -19.”

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Sobyanin labeled this approach an “experiment” that comes after consultations with representatives of entertainment establishments. It is hoped that these measures will prevent the need for a second ban on nightlife and entertainment.

“With the increase in the incidence of recent weeks, there is every reason to introduce a second ban. However, we wouldn’t want to take this step,” Sobyanin said.

READ MORE: Head of Russia's national health watchdog says shutting down economy to prevent spread of Covid-19 is pointless & makes no sense

The new measures come in the context of an increase in the number of known infections in the city over the past week. Among cases considered severe there has been a 25 percent increase and currently 319 patients in Moscow require artificial lung ventilation. The Russian capital has reached a overall total of 347,946 coronavirus cases, detecting over 10,000 new infections each day for the past week. Russia confirmed 13,754 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the country’s total number to 1,354,163.

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