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3 Nov, 2020 12:56

Final warning: St. Petersburg governor threatens ‘severe restrictions’ if locals don’t abide by Covid-19 prevention measures

Final warning: St. Petersburg governor threatens ‘severe restrictions’ if locals don’t abide by Covid-19 prevention measures

The governor of Russia’s second largest city has warned locals to prepare for a new wave of “severe restrictions” aimed at combating Covid-19 if infection rates continue to rise. St Petersburg had a strict lockdown last spring.

The head of the city's administration, Alexander Beglov, called on locals to respect the measures already in force, such as wearing masks and gloves, saying “if we do not fully comply with the requirements of epidemic safety, if we do not use protective equipment everywhere, we will, unfortunately, have to introduce strict restrictions.”

His warning comes after the city recorded 944 new cases of the virus on Tuesday morning. Russia, as well as much of Europe, is currently experiencing a heightened number of Covid-19 infections, with a total of 18,648 diagnoses recorded across the country on Monday. Since the pandemic began last spring, the country has confirmed a total of 1,673,686 cases.

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However, this picture varies widely by region. While Moscow alone registered 5,150 new cases on Monday, according to the country’s anti-coronavirus center, the rate of growth in the number of infections in regions like Chechnya, Tatarstan and Dagestan remains low, at only 0.5 per cent.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that there would be no repeat of the national lockdown imposed earlier this year. The stringent measures saw restaurants and shops close, and had a lasting effect on both the economy and on the lives of Russians.

A number of other countries are already being forced to introduce new restrictions, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing on Saturday that the country would enter a second lockdown for at least one month. France took a similar move on Friday, while Greece is introducing a night-time curfew and the mandatory use of masks outside in all public places from Tuesday.

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