Russia is rolling out a new national mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, The New York Times reports.
Rospotrebnadzor, the country’s federal health watchdog agency, announced Tuesday that Russians must wear masks in public spaces such as taxis, public transportation, elevators and parking garages, as well as any place where more than 50 people can gather. It’s not clear how the order would be enforced at this time.
The federal watchdog also urged governors of Russia’s 85 regions to order entertainment venues such as restaurants and bars to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The measure to mitigate the spread of coronavirus comes after the country recorded 16,550 new cases Tuesday, the fifth consecutive day with more than 16,000 new cases, the Times reports. Russia also confirmed a single-day record for deaths, with 320 coronavirus deaths Tuesday.
The Times reports one lawmaker told Russian President Vladimir Putin this week that as many as 91 members of Russia’s legislative assembly have or have been infected with COVID-19 and that 38 are currently hospitalized.
The Russian government pushed back against implementing a second lockdown or shutting down businesses after a nationwide lockdown in April and May hurt the country economically, according to the Times.
Russia has confirmed more than 1.5 million cases and more than 26,000 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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