MOSCOW, March 25. / TASS /. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing March 30 - April 3, 2020 paid days off across the country, the Kremlin press service said in a statement on Wednesday.
"To establish non-working days from March 30 to April 3, 2020, with salaries retained by employees," the decree officially reads.
According to the document, this measure does not apply "to employees of continuously operating organizations, medical and pharmaceutical organizations, organizations providing the population with food and essential goods, organizations performing emergency work in emergency situations, in other cases that threaten life or normal living conditions of the population, organizations engaged in emergency repair and handling operations," it reads.
"Now it is of utmost importance to prevent the disease from spreading quickly, therefore, I declare that the next week will be a paid holiday. It means that the weekend will take place between March 28 and April 5,"President Putin said addressing the nation.
Putin clarified: "All vital services, including medical facilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, banking and financial accounting organizations, transportation as well as all authorities of all levels will continue working."
The leader warned Russians that the coronavirus pandemic should not be taken lightly. "The long weekend is provided to slow down the spread of the virus. I appeal to all citizens of the country: let’s not act irresponsibly. Please don’t take ‘the leave it to chance’ attitude that ‘It won’t affect me.’ It can affect everyone," he stressed. According to him, in this case "what is happening now in many Western countries -in Europe and overseas -can become our immediate future."
At the same time, he called on citizens to be well-disciplined and responsible and stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. "All recommendations should be definitely observed, we should take care of ourselves, our families and exhibit discipline and responsibility," Putin emphasized. The head of state stressed, "Believe me, the safest thing to do now is to stay home.".