Moscow begins final phase of de-escalation with 1,081 new infections

Moscow, Jun 23 (efe-epa).- Moscow started the last phase of de-escalation on Tuesday despite recording 1,081 new Covid-19 infections during the past day.

Restaurants, gyms and other businesses have been allowed to reopen in Russia’s capital under the final stage of transitioning to post-pandemic normality.

Restaurateur Maxim Popov told Efe in the center of Moscow that it is too soon to make predictions about the possibility of getting back to pre-pandemic customer levels but welcomed the “positive dynamics” of the reopening of outdoor dining areas last week.

“We hope to have the same influx of people that occurred on the outdoor tables after their reopening,” he added.

Authorities in the capital have said the number of new infections has continued to drop, making it safe for Moscow to ease the restrictions imposed to contain the outbreak.

City mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote in an online blog: “Compared to the week of  8 to 14 June new cases registered fell by 10 percent, while on 20 June for the first time in two and a half months we detected less than a thousand new patients.”

Children’s nurseries and travel agencies in the city have also been able to open their doors again on Tuesday.

Tourist companies have reopened as part of a gradual easing of regional travel restrictions in Russia, although excursions to Moscow are not yet allowed, Sobyanin added.

Libraries and swimming pools have also welcomed visitors again and boat trips resumed on the Moskva River through the capital.

Sobyanin has previously warned that restrictions can be reimposed if the virus situation worsens.

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