All news

St. Petersburg bans all mass events over coronavirus fears

A ban will be introduced on holding events "with more than 1,000 participants"
St. Petersburg, Russia Pyotr Kovalyov/TASS
St. Petersburg, Russia
© Pyotr Kovalyov/TASS

ST.PETERSBURG, March 13. /TASS/. Authorities in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, have banned all mass events to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the city’s government press service said on Friday.

Under a decree, signed by Governor Alexander Beglov, starting from March 16 and until April 30, 2020 a ban will be introduced on holding theater and entertainment, cultural and educational, sports and other mass events "with more than 1,000 participants."

Public organizations and associations have been ordered to refrain from holding public events. Legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, who are engaged in activity in the places of mass gathering and transport services, have been advised to carry out disinfection measures on a regular basis. The same recommendations are for private and state educational organizations.

Besides, Russian citizens who live or temporarily stay in St. Petersburg have been advised to refrain from trips abroad and also visiting mass events. Those individuals, who have arrived in St. Petersburg from China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Germany and Spain, have been asked to self-isolate themselves at home for 14 days since their return and be examined by a doctor.

Authorities in St. Petersburg have also canceled or delayed international educational events, including the 11th St. Petersburg International Educational Forum, which was scheduled for March 17-29. This year, the organizers received nearly 3,000 applications, a record-high number over the past four years. The delegates from 10 countries and 59 Russian regions were expected to attend the event.

On March 10, Moscow City Mayor Sergei Sobyanin banned mass public events of more than 5,000 people until April 10. The mayor pointed out that the coronavirus situation was worsening, so extra restrictions should be imposed to protect public health.

The outbreak of a disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was registered in central China in late December 2019. The World Health Organization recognized the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11. Outside China, the worst affected countries are Italy, South Korea and Iran. Overall, more than 110 countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases. The WHO says that the novel coronavirus cases globally have exceeded 125,000, with nearly 4,600 deaths (3,173 in China). A total of 34 coronavirus cases have been registered in Russia.