Russia reopens borders for its nationals to work as deaths near 6,000

People walk at Alexander Garden in Moscow, Russia. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin allowed the opening of parks, despite a high incidence rate remains in the capital. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

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Russians needing to work, study or care for relatives abroad are to be allowed to resume international travel for the first time since late March, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Monday, announcing some coronavirus restrictions would be eased.

The city of Moscow will also roll back curbs imposed over the virus from Tuesday, including cancelling a digital pass system for residents and a self-isolation regime, the TASS news agency reported separately.

Muscovites will be able to go out for walks whenever they want from Tuesday, TASS said, and restaurants and cafes in the Russian capital will be allowed to open their summer verandas from June 16.

Russia continues to report thousands of new infections daily, with its nationwide tally now at 476,658, the third-highest in the world, but the number of cases in Moscow, the original epicentre of the virus, has fallen sharply.

“A government decree was signed, which will give Russian citizens the opportunity to leave the country, in order to care for sick relatives living in other countries, as well as those travelling for work or study,” Mishustin said in a televised meeting.

People requiring medical care abroad will also be eligible to travel, Mishustin said, adding that foreign citizens needing treatment in Russia, or those with close relatives or guardians needing care could enter the country.

Russia closed its borders on March 30, after grounding all international flights and asking citizens to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in Russia has risen to 5,971, the country’s coronavirus response centre said on Monday, after it reported 112 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

It reported 8,985 new infections of the virus, taking the nationwide case tally to 476,658.

Via Reuters

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