President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia’s “non-working” period would come to an end from May 12, allowing the country to start easing restrictions imposed more than six weeks ago to slow the spread of the coronavirus even as Russia saw record increases in new infections.
During the nationwide “non-working” period, all non-essential businesses were required to close and employers ordered to continue paying staff. It has been criticized for what observers say is insufficient financial support for small and mid-sized businesses as well as for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
However, the end of the “non-working” period doesn’t mean Russia’s coronavirus lockdown is over. Putin has given regional leaders the authority to lift restrictions, instructing them to ease lockdown measures in phases based on the epidemiological situation.
Here’s a closer look at the restrictions that are still in place across most of the country — and how and when they’ll be lifted:
Who decides when restrictions will be lifted?
Russia’s governors and regional leaders. Anti-coronavirus measures imposed by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the head of Russia’s coronavirus task force, have been replicated in most other regions until now.
What restrictions are still in place in every region?
All mass public events, including major sports tournaments, remain suspended across Russia.
Moscow and the Moscow region
Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak with 121,301 cases, has extended its lockdown until at least May 31.
Under the lockdown, Muscovites can only leave their homes to buy groceries or medicine at the nearest shop, take out the trash, walk dogs within 100 meters of their buildings, go to work if they have essential jobs or seek emergency medical care.
Starting Tuesday, all residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves at work, in shops and on public transportation, including taxis. Also on Tuesday, industrial and construction companies will be permitted to reopen.
A digital pass system which enforces the citywide lockdown rules remains active in Moscow and the surrounding Moscow region.
Moscow authorities are meanwhile working on easing the lockdown measures to allow residents to go outside for jogging and for walks in certain city parks, BBC Russia reported Monday, adding that the mayor’s office has also plans for extending coronavirus-related restrictions until at least mid-June.
Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg has followed Moscow’s move and extended its lockdown measures until May 31.
Starting Tuesday, St. Petersburg residents will also be required to wear face masks and gloves in public spaces.
The Stavropol region has extended its lockdown for the shortest period of time — until next Monday.
The Krasnodar region in southern Russia extended its lockdown regime until May 23, with Governor Veniamin Kondratyev pointing to the continued presence of new infections in the region.
The Omsk region extended its lockdown until May 24 and the Kolyma region until May 25.
The republic of Sakha has extended its lockdown until May 31 but will allow non-essential small enterprises where employees do not directly interact with customers to resume work.
The Tyumen region has extended its lockdown through May 31 with some exceptions like allowing residents to walk outside while maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) between people.
The Yamal region has also extended its lockdown until May 31 but allowed small businesses like barber shops and beauty salons to re-open.
The Tomsk region extended pandemic-related restrictions until June 1, urging local residents to wear protective masks and gloves in public places.
Starting Tuesday, the Oryol region will allow city fairs and markets to re-open and has re-opened parks and squares for walking.
In the Omsk region, car dealerships, clothing stores and shoe stores re-opened on Tuesday.
In the Ivanovo region, small shops and beauty salons have been allowed to re-open with some restrictions. Last week, local authorities eased the lockdown regime to allow bicycle rides and walks outside.
In the Novosibirsk region, food markets regionwide will be allowed to re-open, with markets in the city of Novosibirsk allowed to re-open after local authorities conduct a sanitary inspection. Starting May 12, residents can go outside for jogging and sporting activities.
Shopping centers and zoos will reopen in the Belgorod region with only a limited number of people permitted inside at a time.
The Tomsk region will allow residents to go outside for walks and sporting activities. Tomsk authorities will also re-open training facilities, parks and outdoor trails. Social distancing rules still remain in place.
The Kostroma region has allowed small businesses to resume their work and residents are allowed to go outside for sporting activities. Social distancing is still mandatory, as is mask-wearing in public places.
In the republic of Chechnya, small shops and service-sector businesses have been allowed to re-open but self-isolation orders remain in place across the region.