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Moscow declares COVID-related restrictions, distance work requirements till spring

All employers are obliged to send at least 30% of their staff to work from home starting from October 25 and till February 25, 2022

MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Moscow’s authorities have made a decision to tighten covid pandemic-related restrictions again. Starting from October 25 elderly people will be obliged to abide by certain lockdown requirements and employers to transfer to distance work at least 30% of their personnel who have neither been vaccinated nor had the illness, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said.

The restrictions have had to be imposed because the number of newly-identified infections in the city has grown four-fold, while it has tripled in terms of patients taken to hospital, and doubled for the number of patients in serious and very serious conditions. Sobyanin also complained that the vaccination rate among elderly people was unduly low: only one in three have agreed to be vaccinated, while most of the five million vaccinated Muscovites are middle-aged.

Distance work

All employers are obliged to send at least 30% of their staff to work from home starting from October 25 and till February 25, 2022. The same applies to staffers over 60 years of age and having certain chronic diseases if their presence at the workplace is not critically important for the organization’s normal operation. The employers will be obliged to present weekly online reports.

This requirement does not concern the vaccinated and those who have had the disease already, medics and employees of strategically important branches of the economy, including the nuclear power corporation Rosatom, space corporation Roscosmos and arms industries.

Previously, the mandatory distance work requirement was applied to 30% of employees in Moscow. It lasted for two months, from June 12 to August 13. Then its status was eased to a recommendation.


From October 25, 2021, to February 25, 2022 Muscovites aged over 60 and those with chronic diseases will be obliged to observe a lockdown, although they will be allowed to take strolls and sports activities outdoors.

Those who have experienced covid over the past six months or have been vaccinated are exempt from the lockdown.

The previous lockdown stayed in effect longer: it was introduced on September 28, 2020, and prolonged repeatedly until its cancellation on March 8, 2021. It was mandatory for all people over 65. The vaccinated and the recovered patients enjoyed no special status during this time.

Vaccination in the service industry

Eighty percent of those employed in the service industry are liable to mandatory vaccination (last summer’s rate was 60%). The employees of businesses concerned were to get the first shot of the vaccine by December 1, 2021, and the second one, by January 1, 2022.

Sobyanin said nothing if Moscow might follow in the footsteps of some Russian regions to make the vaccination of old people mandatory.