Russians return from paid Covid vacation amid uncertainty

Moscow, Nov 7 (EFE).- A week-long paid vacation designed to bring down soaring Covid-19 infections in Russia comes to an end in most parts of the country this weekend although some regions continue to report high caseloads.

While the capital Moscow and Saint Petersburg prepare to return to normal this week, six regions have opted to prolong the vacation period in a bid to stabilize infection rates

Russia on Sunday registered a slight decrease in Covid-19 cases with 39,165, but the weekly increase was the highest since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

A total of 281,305 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the last seven days.

Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin said this week that the capital had managed to stabilize Covid-19 cases.

“Daily, we are detecting some 6,000 cases, before it was 8,000,” he said during the announcement that the city would not extend the paid vacation period beyond Sunday.

Some restrictions such as remote working and a ban on the unvaccinated from attending mass gatherings are to remain in place.

Museum visitors and theater-goers will have to produce a digital code with proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test or that they have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months.

In other regions, measures were far stricter.

In Khabarovsk, southeastern Russia, digital Covid passes will from December be required to buy plane tickets and in the Republic of Tatarstan, unvaccinated people will be banned from public transport from November 22.

“I’ll be criticised, but there is no other option,” Rustam Minnikhanov, Tartarstan’s president said.

Russians are still reluctant to get the Covid-19 vaccine, with less than half the population fully jabbed, according to official figures.

But authorities said that the period of paid vacation helped boost those figures. EFE


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