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Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Oct. 26

Russia has confirmed 8,279,573 cases of coronavirus and 231,669 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is 660,000.

Oct. 26: What you need to know today

  • Russia on Monday confirmed 37,930 new Covid-19 infections, a new pandemic record, and 1,069 deaths.
  • Russian authorities were on Monday investigating nurses and a doctor in St. Petersburg accused of selling fake coronavirus vaccination certificates, as the country faces a deadly new wave. The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said a doctor and three nurses are suspected of pocketing at least 100,000 rubles ($1,430) from 12 people after selling official certificates without having administered jabs.
  • President Vladimir Putin on Monday instructed regional leaders to order restaurants to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. and to ban all entertainment events.
  • Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Thursday imposed a partial citywide lockdown between Oct. 28-Nov. 7 to stem the spread of the virus.
  • The restrictions suspend businesses, services, catering, sports, recreation, entertainment and film screenings with the exception of the sale of essential goods like medicines and food. Mass events, except those authorized by health officials, will be banned, and theater and museum attendance will be capped at 50% with mask-wearing and digital-code rules in place. In-person public services will be suspended and kindergarteners and school students sent home between Oct. 28 and Nov. 7.
    The Moscow region introduced identical restrictions shortly after Sobyanin’s announcement.
  • President Vladimir Putin will not meet people face-to-face during Russia’s nationwide week-long paid holiday starting on Oct. 30 designed to curb Covid infections amid record deaths, his spokesman said Thursday.
  • The pace of vaccinations in Russia has accelerated following a string of regions imposing vaccine mandates for workers in certain sectors of the economy and vaccine passports for entry into indoor venues, according to the Gogov website which tracks vaccine uptake across the country. It estimates Russia is administering more than 300,000 first doses each day — up from around 120,000 a day earlier October.

Oct. 23

— Russia’s second city St. Petersburg will impose a partial lockdown from Oct. 30-Nov. 7, authorities announced Saturday.

Oct. 22

— Russia on Friday reported another record high number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials reported 37,141 new coronavirus cases and 1,064 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

Oct. 21

— Russia on Thursday reported a record high number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials reported 36,339 new coronavirus cases and 1,036 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

— Sochi is bracing for an influx of tourists during public holidays starting Oct. 30 designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Occupancy rates in hotels are set to be at least 75%, the city’s mayor said Thursday — equivalent to peak summer months at the Black Sea resort. The city has introduced vaccine passports for entry into restaurants and bars in a bid to stop the spread of the virus despite the mass inflow of tourists.

— Russia has detected a new sub-variant of the Delta strain of the coronavirus, which risks compounding the country’s spiraling infections and deaths, a senior Russian government scientist warned Thursday.

— The European Union’s drug regulator will not approve Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine until at least the first months of 2022, Reuters reported Thursday.

Oct. 20

— President Vladimir Putin announced a non-working week in Russia from Oct. 30-Nov. 7. Putin pleaded with Russians to get vaccinated and said the public holidays could be extended further if cases do not start to fall.

— Russia on Wednesday reported 34,073 new coronavirus cases and 1,028 deaths from Covid-19, another record number of daily fatalities.

— Nationwide, 87% of hospital beds reserved for coronavirus patients are occupied, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said Wednesday in a televised meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Oct. 19

— Russia on Tuesday reported 33,740 new coronavirus cases and 1,015 deaths from Covid-19, a new record number of daily fatalities.

— Some 1,100 medical staff died from Covid-19 in Russia during the first six months of 2021, the chair of the State Duma’s budget committee said Tuesday. That is more than twice the number who succumbed to the virus in 2020, he added.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has backed plans for a nationwide non-working week starting Oct. 30. The proposal was put forward by Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova during a televised government meeting Tuesday. Mishustin said the strict measures — effectively a paid vacation or orders for workers at non-essential businesses to stop going into their place of work — were “now necessary” given increased numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Golikova said some regions should introduce the non-working week earlier, on Oct. 23 and also called for unvaccinated pensioners to start self-isolating at home. President Vladimir Putin is expected to give formal approval to the plans Wednesday.

Oct. 18

— Russia on Monday reported a new record high number of coronavirus cases — 34,325 over the last 24 hours, taking the total toll since the start of the pandemic above 8 million. Officials also reported another 998 Covid-19 deaths.

— Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, announced Monday it would tighten restrictions to battle a surge in Covid-19 cases, introducing a health pass to regulate access to crowd events.

— Moscow authorities will start fining public transport passengers whose face masks do not cover their nose and mouth, a transit official said Monday.

— South Africa’s health products regulator on Monday said it would not approve Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine due to concerns it could increase the risk of HIV infection among men. The decision was based on earlier studies testing the safety of a modified form of adenovirus  — a type of virus that causes respiratory infections  — known as the Ad5 and contained in the Russian jab. 

— Russia will allow family members of foreigners who live in Russia to enter the country, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. The relaxation will allow people from countries not yet on Russia’s designated list of open countries to receive a special entry permit to come to Russia, provided they have a close relative living in Russia.

Oct. 17

Russia on Sunday reported a record high number new coronavirus cases. Officials reported 34,303 new coronavirus cases and 997 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

Oct. 16

— Russia on Saturday reported a record high number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials reported 33,208 new coronavirus cases and 1,002 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

— According to Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova, 38 of Russia’s 85 regions have introduced vaccine mandates for certain categories of citizens and employees working in designated sectors of the economy, such as retail and hospitality.

Oct. 15

— Russia on Friday reported a record high number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials reported 32,196 new coronavirus cases and 999 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

— Russia will resume regular air travel with the Bahamas, Iran, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Slovenia, Tunisia, Sweden and Thailand starting Nov. 9, the national Covid-19 headquarters announced Thursday.

Oct. 14

— Russia on Thursday reported a record high number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials reported 31,299 new coronavirus cases and 985 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

— Health Minister Mikhail Murashko has called on doctors who are self-isolating or even retired due to the pandemic to get vaccinated and return to work due to record increases in Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Oct. 13

— Russia on Wednesday reported 28,717 new coronavirus cases and 984 deaths from Covid-19, a new record number of daily fatalities.

Oct. 12

— Russia on Tuesday reported 28,190 new coronavirus cases and 973 deaths from Covid-19, a new record number of daily fatalities.

— The Moscow region that surrounds the capital has imposed vaccine mandates for sales, food, transport, public service, hair salon and fitness club employees. 

— Roughly 235,000 of Russia’s 255,000 Covid hospital beds nationwide are occupied, with 6,000 patients on ventilators, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Tuesday.

— Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad has suspended planned medical procedures as it battles an “extremely difficult” surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The central Mari El region also canceled routine operations and medical treatment from Tuesday, warning that it had run out of free hospital beds and may soon have to start treating patients in corridors.

Oct. 11

— Russia on Monday reported 29,409 new coronavirus cases — the second highest number of daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic — and 957 deaths from Covid-19.

— The Kremlin on Monday described Russia’s Covid fatality toll as “high” and the country’s vaccination rate as “unacceptably” low, even as it rejected new restrictions so as to protect the economy.

— Moscow on Monday launched free express coronavirus tests at 20 locations across the city, as the capital continues to battle with rising infection rates. The tests give a result in 15 minutes, but are less effective than the gold standard PCR tests. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said rapid testing would allow “socially responsible citizens” to ensure they are not spreading the virus.

— The Leningrad region that surrounds St. Petersburg will require residents to present QR codes proving their vaccination status or a negative PCR test in order to enter theaters, cinemas, swimming pools and gyms through Nov. 15.

Oct. 10

— Russia on Sunday reported 28,647 new coronavirus cases and 962 daily deaths from Covid-19.

Oct. 9

— Russia on Saturday reported 29,2362 new coronavirus cases and a new record high of 968 daily deaths from Covid-19.

Oct. 8

— Russia on Friday reported 27,246 new coronavirus cases and 936 daily deaths from Covid-19.

— Russia reported 65,000 excess fatalities in August in a 45% jump on pre-pandemic mortality rates, official data published Friday showed. The country’s overall number of excess deaths since the start of the coronavirus stands at 660,000.

— EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer said that the country “has repeatedly postponed” the timing of the inspection requested by the European Medicines Agency which has slowed down the approval process of the vaccine in the EU. The Russian Ministry of Health responded by saying that it presented the EU with all the necessary documents that the block requested.

Oct. 7

— A World Health Organization delegation will visit Russia this month as part of its approval procedure for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriyev said Thursday. 

— The problem behind WHO’s suspension of Sputnik V’s approval process has been resolved, said Mariangela Simao, WHO’s assistant director general for access to medicines, vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has announced that mass PCR testing will be introduced in Russia’s capital in 1-2 weeks.

— Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said the federal government recommends Russian regions introduce QR-codes for attending mass events, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday. 

Oct. 6

— Russia reported 25,113 new coronavirus cases and a new record high of 929 deaths.

Oct. 5

— Russia reported 25,110 new coronavirus cases and 895 deaths.

Oct. 4

— Russia’s top cabinet official on Monday criticized the country’s stalling vaccination rates for failing to slow the spread of Covid-19 as Russians die in numbers not seen since the start of the pandemic.

Oct. 1

— Russia recorded its highest coronavirus death toll for a fourth day running of 887 deaths on Oct. 1.

Sept. 30

— Russia has completed Phase 3 trials of its Sputnik V vaccine, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko announced Thursday, over a year after Moscow touted the jab as the world’s first authorized coronavirus vaccine.

— Russian residents may soon be able to receive vaccines not recognized by the government, the Kommersant business daily reported, citing a Health Ministry proposal put up for public discussion.

Sept. 29

— President Vladimir Putin is no longer self-isolating, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday. Putin previously said that dozens of people in his entourage tested positive for the coronavirus before he went into self-isolation.

Sept. 28

— Two Russian regions, the Perm region and the republic of Udmurtia, will reimpose QR code requirements to enter public events, cinemas, theaters and cafes starting next week amid an upswing in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

— The United States is set to impose new travel rules that would ban entry to noncitizens who have not been vaccinated with an FDA or WHO-approved vaccine, a move that would shut out millions who have received Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Sept. 26

— Russian officials have increased warnings that the country faces a looming fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Anna Popova, the head of the Rospotrebnadzor health watchdog, which is leading the country’s response to the virus, said the growth in new infections was “intense” in 36 of Russia’s 85 regions. She also warned regional healthcare systems to be prepared for a possible influx in patients over the coming weeks.

Sept. 16

— Russian President Vladimir Putin said that dozens of people in his entourage tested positive for the coronavirus before he went into self-isolation earlier this week.

— A Russian pharmaceutical company has launched production of the British-Swedish AstraZenica vaccine. The doses will be intended for export only as Russia only uses domestically developed vaccines within its borders.

Sept. 15

— The World Health Organization (WHO) has suspended its approval process for Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, pending a fresh inspection of at least one Russian factory manufacturing the shot.

— Russia will resume flights with five more countries — Denmark, South Africa, Peru, New Zealand and Djibouti — starting Oct. 5, the national coronavirus taskforce said.

Sept. 14

— Russian President Vladimir Putin is going into self-isolation over coronavirus concerns in his inner circle, the Kremlin said. 

Sept. 13

— Russia will resume regular air travel with Spain, Iraq, Kenya and Slovakia starting Sept. 21, the government announced.

— The first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 78.6% effective against coronavirus infection, 87.6% effective against hospitalization and 84.8% effective at preventing coronavirus deaths, according to a large-scale study of Argentine vaccinations published in The Lancet. The study noted the results might not be applicable to new variants like the dominant Delta variant.

Sept. 8

— Roughly 700 Russian doctors have died from the coronavirus so far in 2021, the Health Ministry’s chief non-staff pathology specialist Igor Bukhtiyarov said.

Sept. 6

— Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot has suspended several pilots for refusing to vaccinate against the coronavirus, the RBC news website reported, citing a company spokesperson.

Sept. 2

— Russia could see a renewed surge of the coronavirus as early as this month, top health officials have warned.

— Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine demonstrated 94.8% efficacy against Covid-19, according to real world data from San Marino, where around 70% of the population have been inoculated with Sputnik V, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said. The vaccine also showed 95.9% effectiveness against hospitalization.

— The protection offered by Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine could increase during the first six months after vaccination, a preliminary study in Argentina has found. Researchers analyzed blood samples of those inoculated with the Russian jab and found antibody responses were stronger six months after being vaccinated compared to levels recorded three weeks after the second dose.

Aug. 31

— Slovakia will halt the use of Sputnik V due to low demand among its population, reports said. The EU member state’s decision to approve the Russian vaccine ahead of EU approval sparked a political uproar that led to the resignation of its prime minister.

Aug. 26

— Russia registered its fifth coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona-N, Interfax reported. The Health Ministry said it was an upgrade on the already-approved EpiVacCorona jab, which had been under scrutiny after clinical trial participants raised questions about the vaccine’s effectiveness. Both were developed by the state-run Vector Institute.

— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine offers strong protection against hospitalization, according to scientists who have conducted the first independent real-world study of the jab’s effectiveness in combating severe infections.

Aug. 18

— Russia will launch a nationwide lottery for citizens who are vaccinated, according to an order signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. One thousand winners will be randomly selected to receive cash prizes of 100,000 rubles ($1,360).

Aug. 17

— Thailand will allow tourists vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V to enter its Phuket Sandbox areas, the Bangkok Post reported.

Aug. 13

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has canceled rules requiring employers in the capital to ensure at least 30% of unvaccinated staff work remotely. Guidelines to employers to regularly test employees for coronavirus and take temperature checks have also been scrapped.

Aug. 12

— Chinese aviation authorities have suspended Moscow-Shanghai flights operated by Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot for two weeks starting Monday, Aug. 16, after five Covid-19 cases were detected among passengers on the July 30 flight, the Russian state-run 1prime.ru news website reported.

Aug. 11

— Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 83% effective against the Delta variant, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said. Research published in The Lancet this winter showed Sputnik V to be 91.6% effective against the original coronavirus strain.

Aug. 6

— Russia saw more than 530,000 excess deaths between the start of the pandemic and the end of June 2021, according to official data.

July 30

— The European Union now recognizes vaccination certificates from San Marino, where 90% of those vaccinated have received Sputnik V.

— Russia has approved clinical trials of a combination of its Sputnik V and the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine that will run through next spring.

— Starting Aug. 9, Russia plans to resume flights with Egypt’s resort cities of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, the national coronavirus task force announced. Russia also plans to resume flights with Bahrain, the Dominican Republic and Moldova on that date.

July 23

— Russia’s Labor Ministry and the consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor issued instructions for employers to ensure 80% immunity among staff through vaccinations and recovery from Covid-19, allowing paid leave for vaccinated employees and suspension without pay for those who refuse to get vaccinated.

July 22

— Moscow’s 119 health clinics and 45 vaccination sites began offering Sputnik V and Sputnik Light booster vaccine shots against coronavirus, according to Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin kicked off the booster campaign on July 1, urging vaccinated residents to get a third shot six months later, as the country battles the highly contagious Delta variant.

July 16

— Starting July 19, Moscow restaurants will no longer require a QR code proving one’s vaccination, immunity or negative test results to dine indoors, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Friday.

— Most service sector businesses in Moscow met a Friday deadline to ensure 60% of their workforce received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the capital’s coronavirus taskforce said. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced he would give employers who fell short another week, until July 22, to meet the requirement.

July 15

— The Kremlin said that Moscow had no immediate plans to allow foreign coronavirus vaccines into Russia, despite the country’s sluggish vaccination rates and rising death toll in a third wave of the pandemic.

July 14

— Russia will resume reciprocal flights with France and the Czech Republic from July 24, the country’s coronavirus information headquarters announced Wednesday.

— Russia has overtaken France as having the world’s fourth-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the World Health Organization.

July 13

— The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said on Tuesday a deal had been struck with Indian vaccine maker the Serum Institute to produce 300 million doses annually.

— Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has ordered that airlines test all pilots and flight attendants for coronavirus once every 72 hours, the RBC news website reported.

— The republic of Buryatia in Siberia has lifted its lockdown after becoming the first Russian region to order all non-essential shops and businesses to close from June 27.

July 9

— Russia’s Black Sea coastal resorts including Sochi will require visiting tourists to vaccinate against the coronavirus within three days of arrival starting Aug. 1, regional authorities announced.

— St. Petersburg authorities will ban gatherings of more than 75 people from July 13, city officials announced. Case numbers have spiked in Russia’s second-largest city as it has hosted seven matches in the football tournament.

— Moscow’s outdoor restaurant verandas will stay open to diners who lack a QR code proving their vaccination or immunity through Aug. 1. Originally, the city planned to require QR codes to dine at verandas starting July 12.

July 7

 Starting July 7, Russians returning from overseas will be required to self-isolate until they test negative for Covid-19, consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said. Vaccinated or recently recovered Russians are exempt from the rule.

— A senior administrator at a western Russian clinic has been detained on suspicion of selling fake coronavirus vaccine certificates, police said. Meanwhile, Moscow police announced Thursday the city’s first criminal case against a person who had allegedly purchased a fake QR code for dining indoors at the city’s restaurants. 

July 6

— The Kremlin on Tuesday said it doesn’t support closing internal borders between Russia’s regions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

July 5

— Germany’s health agency said on Monday it would lift a ban on most travelers from five countries including Russia that have been hit by the Delta variant of Covid-19. Russia will be reclassified from Wednesday as a “high-incidence area.”

July 1

— Moscow authorities announced that all patients with acute respiratory symptoms will be required to self-isolate and take express tests for COVID-19.

— Supplies of Russia’s EpiVacCorona vaccine have run out in Moscow, city authorities said Thursday, leaving Sputnik V and Sputnik Light as the only remaining vaccine options for Muscovites after supplies of the CoviVac ran out on June 22.

June 30

— President Vladimir Putin said that he was vaccinated against the coronavirus with Russia’s Sputnik V jab, lifting the veil on a months-long secret that did little to quell Russians’ vaccine hesitancy.

— Moscow will start offering booster shots of the Sputnik V vaccine for individuals who were vaccinated more than six months ago, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced.

— Russia has confirmed the first Delta Plus coronavirus variant infections within its borders days after media sounded the alarm about the presence of the potentially more dangerous new strain.

June 29

— The Kremlin said that Russia no longer expects to meet its goal of vaccinating 60% of its population by the fall.

— Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that 151,000 people in Russia are currently in hospital with the coronavirus.

— Russia’s Black Sea resort city Sochi will open its first “Covid-free” beach only accessible to those who have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or have negative PCR test results, its deputy mayor said Wednesday.

June 28

— Starting Monday, all restaurant and cafes in Moscow will require patrons to present an official QR code confirming their vaccination status, immunity or negative PCR test results.

June 27

— All Russian travelers, vaccinated or not, will have to present a negative PCR or rapid test result on arrival in Greece, Athens announced Sunday. Travelers from Russia will also have to undergo another test as soon as they arrive.

June 25

— Moscow authorities reimposed work-from-home restrictions Friday as the Russian capital posted a new daily record for Covid-19 deaths due to a surging outbreak of the Delta variant. In a decree published on his website, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered that businesses cut their number of in-office workers by 30% from June 28. Vaccinated employees would be excluded, the decree said, adding that all workers aged over 65 as well as those with pre-existing conditions would have to work from home.

— Russia is investigating reports of the first Delta Plus coronavirus variant infections within its borders, the country’s consumer protection watchdog told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. 

June 24

— Starting July 1, the Krasnodar region — where Russia’s resort city of Sochi is located — will require all hotels and guest houses to obtain a negative PCR test or vaccination certificate from guests. Starting Aug. 1, the region will ban entry to resorts for unvaccinated vacationers. 

— Moscow authorities announced they’ll allow access to summer cafes and verandas without a QR code proving vaccination until July 12. Under-18s will also be able to enter “Covid-free” restaurants and cafes without QR codes.

June 23

— Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that 130,000 Russians are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 and another 519,000 confirmed or suspected Covid-19 patients are under doctors’ supervision. Just 15% of Russia’s hospital beds are unoccupied, Murashko said.

— The republic of Buryatia in Siberia has become the first Russian region to announce a new coronavirus lockdown, with all non-essential shops and businesses ordered to close from June 27-July 11.

— From June 28, all Moscow cafes and restaurants will only serve customers who have been vaccinated; who have had Covid-19 in the past six months; or who present a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 78 hours. 

— The mayor of the southern city of Krasnodar has said he will withhold bonuses and allowances from unvaccinated city administration employees if they fall ill with the coronavirus.

— Russia will resume regular air travel with the following countries from June 28: the United States, Italy, Cyprus, North Macedonia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Jordan and Ireland, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova announced Friday. Citizens of China and Lichtenstein will also be permitted to enter the country.

— Regular flights with Turkey will resume June 22, Golikova said.

June 18

— Nearly 90% of Moscow’s new infections are the Delta variant of the coronavirus first detected in India, Mayor Sobyanin said.

— Moscow hospitals will no longer provide routine treatment to unvaccinated patients unless they require emergency care or treatment for cancer or blood diseases, officials announced. Patients with medical exemptions for vaccination will still be able to be treated.

— The Kremlin blamed “nihilism” for the lack of vaccine uptake that has helped spur a new surge in infections.

— Moscow has extended its coronavirus restrictions until June 29, Mayor Sobyanin announcedOutdoor theaters, playgrounds, food courts, children’s playrooms in malls, and zoos will remain closed through June 29. Restaurants and bars must close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Theaters, movie theaters, museums and other cultural venues will only be able to serve 1,000 people at a time. Fan zones, dance floors and other venues for mass events will be closed.

— At least 17 regions of Russia have reintroduced Covid-19 restrictions.

— The Leningrad region that surrounds St. Petersburg has ordered mandatory vaccination for 80% of service workers, while the Tula region has ordered mandatory vaccination for at-risk groups.

June 17

— The spread of the Delta variant, first detected in India, across Russia has “seriously increased” in the last two weeks, Russian health authorities said.

— Russia could allow pregnant women to start receiving the coronavirus vaccine within the next one to two weeks, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

June 16

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced mandatory vaccination for service sector workers, saying the measure is necessary as the city grapples with 12,000 hospitalized Covid-19 patients and levels of illness equal to last year’s peaks.

— Sobyanin also announced that the city has overturned its ban on sitting on park benches.

— Russia has extended its moratorium on deportations of foreigners with expired visas for another three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a last-minute decree President Vladimir Putin signed Tuesday.

— The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are studying the jab’s effectiveness against the so-called “Moscow strain” of the virus, they told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. 

June 14

— Authorities in St. Petersburg, which is hosting a series of Euro 2020 matches, said Monday they were tightening anti-coronavirus restrictions in an effort to curb a new spike in infections. From Thursday food courts and children’s play areas in shopping malls in Russia’s second city will be closed, and no food will be sold at Euro-2020 fan zones, authorities said in a statement.

June 13

— Universities in Moscow have been advised to switch their students to remote learning by the Science and Higher Education Ministry.

— Moscow authorities announced a “non-working week” from June 15-19 in an attempt to curb the growing number of infections. After that, businesses are advised to transfer at least 30% of their unvaccinated to working from home.

— Bars, clubs and restaurants in Moscow will be closed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. from June 13-20.

—As the city’s vaccination rate remains low, Moscow residents who receive their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine from June 14 to July 11 will be entered into a prize draw to win an automobile — with five cars a week up for grabs, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

June 11

—  Moscow authorities announced Wednesday plans to reopen field hospitals and step up mask and glove enforcement as the epicenter of Russia’s outbreak reported its highest number of new cases since the start of 2021.

—  Brazil has approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for import and emergency use in several states, reversing its April decision to ban imports of the jab, its developers have said 

—  Russia recorded one of its lowest monthly jumps in fatalities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in April, according to official statistics published Friday.

June 5

— Another 1 million Muscovites will be vaccinated against coronavirus by the end of the year, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin says. So far, the city has vaccinated 1.3 million people in roughly six months.

— Serbia is starting to produce Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday, the first European nation outside Russia and Belarus to take the step.

June 4

— Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko on Wednesday ruled out compulsory Covid-19 vaccination in Russia, saying it would be a “gross violation of the law.”

— Health officials in the Omsk region in Siberia announced they will give free tickets to the Omsk State Circus to the first 1,000 people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at the circus’ vaccination station between June 2 and July 11.

— Russia will resume flights with the United Kingdom — along with regular flights to seven other countries from June 10 — but will extend travel restrictions to Turkey for another three weeks.

AFP contributed reporting.

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