Moscow shuts down all non-essential shops & restaurants to stop spread of Covid-19

All restaurants, cafes, and shops, except food stores, will be closed in the Russia capital from March 28 to April 5. The mayor also advised Muscovites to refrain from visiting places of worship amid the Covid-19 epidemic.

Restaurants and cafes will still be able to provide take-away food and delivery service, the order by Mayor Sergey Sobyanin read.

The restrictions also include barber shops, spas, massage parlors, as well as baths and saunas.

Access to parks, including Gorky Park and the All-Russian Exhibition Center, will be barred during the upcoming week due to the epidemic.

“I understand the feelings of the religious Muscovites, but I still strongly recommend [refraining] from visiting religious sites during those days,” Sobyanin said.

The mayor acknowledged that the restrictions will be inconvenient, but said they are “absolutely essential to slow down the spread of the coronavirus infection and decrease the number of those sick.”

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On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin announced that workers will have a paid holiday next week to stem the spread of Covid-19. All international flights have also been banned, except those bringing citizens back to Russia.

Russia had already banned public gatherings of more than 50 people, closed cinemas, fitness clubs, and other establishments. In Moscow, elderly people, for whom the infection is the most dangerous, were urged to remain in their homes.

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