Moscow continues de-escalation, eases mask rule

Moscow, Jul 13 (efe-epa).- The Russian capital took another step towards de-escalation on Monday by easing restrictions including compulsory mask-wearing.

Moscow’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in his online blog on Monday that all limitations on amusement parks, cultural centers and recreational organizations have been lifted.

Residents will no longer have to wear masks outdoors although they continue to be mandatory on public transport and inside medical facilities, shops and indoor public spaces.

“A mandatory mask regimen on the streets will be lifted,” Sobyanin wrote in his blog.

Cultural venues, amusement parks, nightclubs and other types of recreational activities will open their doors to the public, as long as the number of visitors does not exceed half of the maximum capacity provided by these premises.

The move was obviously welcomed by many inhabitants of the capital, who were seen walking, cycling and scooting around the streets with family and friends making the most of Moscow’s summer weather.

Restrictions will also be lifted for schools, universities and children’s camps.

Measures remain in place on large gatherings such as live performances and sports events.

Schoolchildren and students can take face-to-face exams and attend classes, although they are currently on summer holidays.

The measures were lifted on basic education as well as sports, music and art schools.

Sobyanin announced that the next step of de-escalation is scheduled for 1 August when theaters, cinemas and concert halls with fewer than 3,000 seats will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

Attendance at sporting events will also increase from 10 to 50 percent from the beginning of next month, according to the mayor.

He warned that the reopening of individual facilities could be delayed if there is a resurgence in infections.

Moscow has reported an average of 650 daily Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the month.

Russia is currently the fourth worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic, behind the United States, Brazil, and India.

There have been around 733,700 infections and more than 11,400 deaths in the country, with more than 6,500 new cases and 104 fatalities in the last 24 hours. EFE-EPA


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