Russian Republic of Buryatia orders COVID-19 restrictions

The Republic of Buryatia in Eastern Siberia has ordered a lockdown to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, and France is adding Russia to its “red list” of countries from which travel is severely restricted as it experiences an increase in cases of COVID-19.

Buryat authorities said the lockdown would begin on June 27 and last for two weeks. It will affect all businesses except essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies. A notice specifying the restrictive measures must be published on June 24.

There was one huge increase the incidence of COVID-19 in Russia this month, with the daily number of new cases rising from around 9,000 in early June to more than 17,000 on June 18, and a number of regions are further stepping up measures to quarantine to slow the spread of the disease.

Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin has announced an extension of restrictions imposed early last week until June 29. He had already announced the closure of the Euro 2020 fan zone in Moscow and the ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Buryatia is however the only Russian region to have imposed several lockdowns since the start of the pandemic. Last November, the region’s governor also shut down all non-essential businesses for two weeks in order to deal with a resurgence of the epidemic.

According to official statistics, 1,071 people have died from the pandemic in the region and 42,177 cases have been recorded.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on June 23 that Russia, along with Namibia and Seychelles, were added to its red list, which now has 21 countries.

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