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All shops except grocery stores to be closed in Moscow until April 5

All restaurants, cafes and bars in Moscow will also be shut down

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. All shops except grocery stores will be closed in Moscow from March 28 to April 5, pharmacies will remain open, a decree published on Thursday by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin informs.

"From March 28 to April 5, 2020, all retail trade facilities will be temporarily closed, except pharmacies and stores selling groceries and basic necessities, including those providing delivery services," the document says.

All restaurants, cafes and bars in Moscow will also be shut down from March 28 to April 5, a decree says.

The ban does not affect cafes open within organizations and delivery services.

"From March 28 to April 5, 2020, restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, buffets, bars, diners, and other catering services will be closed, except delivery services (with citizens not allowed to visit the facilities). This ban does not apply to cafeterias, buffets, cafes and other food services open within organizations," the document says.

Sobyanin noted on his blog that these measures are unprecedented and that they will cause many difficulties in the daily lives of Moscow residents. However, they are necessary to slow down the spread of the infection and to reduce the number of those infected with COVID-19.

"We must temporarily ban all services requiring personal presence (for example, hair salons). This does not include medical and rehabilitation services, care for the elderly or other people in need, other social services, transport services, banking and insurance services, housing and communications services, funeral services - all of them will still be available. There are no restrictions on remote or delivery services," the mayor said.

According to the document, all spas and massage salons and other facilities providing such services will also be closed.

​​​​​Sobyanin has also closed all large parks to visitors on March 28 - April 5.

"On March 28 through April 5, 2020 such public territories as the exhibition center VDNKh, Gorky Park, museum preserves Tsaritsino and Kolomenskoye, Zaryadye Park, Kuskovo Estate, and Sokolniki Park will be temporarily closed to visitors," Sobyanin’s decree runs.

On Thursday, Moscow officials informed that the total number of those infected with COVID-19 in the Russian capital had reached 546, rising by 136 in the past 24 hours. Russia has identified 840 cases of the virus, two people have died, 38 have recovered.

Coronavirus pandemic

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia.

On March 11, WHO declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a global pandemic. As of now, over 450,000 people have been infected around the world and more than 21,000 have died.