Moscow to impose strictest lockdown measures since June 2020
Moscow will reintroduce COVID-19 lockdown measures from 28 October, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said, with supermarkets and pharmacies the only shops allowed to stay open in an effort to cut soaring infections and deaths.
The decision came a day after President Vladimir Putin approved a nationwide week-long workplace shutdown from 30 October to 7 November and said regional leaders could introduce tighter measures at their discretion.
The partial lockdown in the capital, the first since June of last year, will also run until 7 November.
Sobyanin said all shops would close except those selling essential goods, such as supermarkets and pharmacies. Schools and kindergartens will shut too, while bars and restaurants can only operate takeaway and delivery services.
Similar restrictions will apply in the wider Moscow region, but Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper house of parliament and a close Putin ally, said another nationwide lockdown would be inadvisable.
"It would be a huge blow to the economy, a psychological blow for citizens. It is not necessary," TASS news agency quoted her as saying.
Russia on Thursday reported 1,036 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours as well as 36,339 new infections, both record daily highs.
Authorities said they were keeping an eye on a new strain of the Delta variant of the virus which is also spreading in England, but believed existing vaccines could cope with it.