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22 Jun, 2021 13:49

With infectious Delta strain on rise, Moscow to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative test to visit bars & restaurants

With infectious Delta strain on rise, Moscow to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative test to visit bars & restaurants

Moscow’s bars and restaurants buzzed as much of the rest of Europe languished under lockdowns. Now though, new restrictions are being imposed in the city for those who have yet to receive a Covid-19 vaccine or have had the virus.

The measures, announced by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin on Tuesday, will require residents to scan a QR code before entering hospitality venues including eateries, food courts, pubs and other public spaces.

Only those who have proof of vaccination, evidence that they have had coronavirus within the past six months, or a negative PCR test within the previous three days will be given the digital certificate. Those who have only had one shot of the vaccine will reportedly also be eligible under the scheme.

Also on rt.com Moscow orders ‘mandatory’ vaccination against Covid-19 for some workers serving the public as cases soar in Europe’s largest city

“The situation with the spread of Covid remains very difficult,” Sobyanin said. “There are more than 14,000 seriously ill people in hospitals. The healthcare system is fully mobilized.”

From June 28, the system will become “mandatory for all restaurants and cafes that want to continue operating as usual.” Takeaway meals and delivery will be the only option available to those without a QR code. Two million people in Europe’s largest city have reportedly already received their first dose.

The city has already effectively banned nightlife, with a two-week ban on bars and clubs serving patrons past 11pm.

At the same time, a previous rule banning mass events has been tightened, barring venues from having more than 500 customers on-site at any time.

Last week, Moscow became the first city in the world to make vaccination mandatory for those in public-facing roles. Businesses in industries like hospitality, transport and entertainment will have to prove that 60% of their workforce has received a jab or else face hefty fines. Officials have confirmed that companies can suspend staff without pay to meet their quotas. Similar rules have been imposed in St. Petersburg and other Russian regions.

Earlier on Tuesday, the country’s human rights ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova called the move “a dishonest game.” She said that “the mechanisms by which it is being implemented are giving rise to mass psychosis and making people fear coercion.”

However, the Kremlin has defended Sobyanin’s decision, with presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying it supported the new measures in response to a uniquely difficult epidemiological situation.

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