Moscow mayor calls new virus restrictions ‘difficult’ but ‘necessary’

Moscow’s mayor is imposing new coronavirus restrictions amid an outbreak in the city, saying the restrictions are “difficult” but “necessary.”

The city will only allow those who are vaccinated, contracted the virus in the past six months or have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to be served at bars and restaurants, The Associated Press reported.

The city is using QR codes in order to prove someone is eligible for service.

Events with more than 500 people for sports or entertainment will also be banned.

“The decisions that we’re making are difficult, unpopular, but necessary for saving people’s lives,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Tuesday.

The restrictions come as the city is battling a surge in coronavirus cases from the delta variant. 

“We continue getting sick, people keep dying, but they don’t want to get vaccinated,” Sobyanin said last week. “The percentage of those vaccinated in Moscow is lower than in any European city.”

A Kremlin spokesperson said on Tuesday that those who refuse to get vaccinated can be discriminated against and could limit their work options.

“The reality is such that discrimination will inevitably set in. People without vaccination or immunity will not be able to work everywhere. It is not possible. It will pose a threat to those around them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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