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10 Nov, 2020 12:48

Last orders: Nightlife in Moscow to close after 11pm as Covid-19 cases spike in the Russian capital

Last orders: Nightlife in Moscow to close after 11pm as Covid-19 cases spike in the Russian capital

A nightlife curfew is to be introduced in Moscow from Friday. The capital's Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has announced that all venues must close from 11pm, explaining that the measures will extend past the New Year, until January 15.

Despite Covid-19 cases skyrocketing, the capital's bars and clubs have remained open since early summer and revelers have enjoyed the city's nightlife mostly unrestricted. With winter around the corner and no sign of transmission slowing down, Sobyanin has opted to impose stronger measures across the city.

According to the Mayor’s website, from Friday it will be forbidden to accept customers at restaurants, cafes, bars, night clubs, bowling alleys, discos, and other entertainment venues between 23.00 and 06.00.

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“Since September, there has been a big rise in the coronavirus epidemic. For two and a half months, there has been a real struggle going on,” Sobyanin wrote. “In recent days, we have again seen significant growth.”

In mid-August, only 1 out of 100 Covid-19 PCR tests gave a positive result, the Mayor wrote. However, in October, the share of positive tests increased to 5.8%, and has now risen to 7.5%.

“In these conditions, the existing measures to counteract the coronavirus have become insufficient,” he clarified. “Additional restrictions are needed to break the transmission chains of the virus as much as possible and reduce the incidence of disease.”

As well as shuttering nightlife, Sobyanin imposed a limit of 25% capacity on theaters, cinemas, and concert halls, and temporarily suspended all events with spectators, apart from sport. Indoor locations for children's entertainment are also to be closed.

Moscow has borne the brunt of Covid-19 in Russia, recording 26% (481,068) of Russia’s 1,817,109 cases, despite being home to only 10% of the country’s population. On the world stage, Russia has the fifth most infections behind the US (10,110,552), India (8,591,730), Brazil (5,675,032) and France (1,856,292).‪

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