Russia, with more than 8.9 million infections since the start of the epidemic, is one of the most affected countries in the world, and it witnessed a severe outbreak of the virus this fall, in which infections and deaths reached new records.
The new legislation aims to boost the low vaccination rates in Russia, which has introduced several domestic anti-Covid vaccines, including “Sputnik V”, but only about a third of the population has fully received the vaccine.
As of February 1, those wishing to enter public places such as bars and restaurants will have to prove that they have received the vaccine or have recovered from the virus, or that they have medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated.
The government said in a statement that “the proposed solutions are an emergency measure due to the difficult situation caused by the Corona virus,” and if approved, they will be valid until June 1, 2022.
But health passes will not be required to visit pharmacies and basic stores.
Russians wishing to travel by air or by train from February 1 will also have to submit QR codes, according to a second bill submitted to parliament.
Several Russian regions had imposed mandatory proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, cafes and shopping centers, unlike Moscow, the epicenter of the epidemic, which ignored such measures.
On Friday, the authorities reported 40,123 new infections and 1,235 deaths during the past 24 hours.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said hospitals are under enormous pressure at a time when the country is witnessing more than a thousand deaths a day.
She added that most of the infected people who had to enter intensive care or died from the virus were unvaccinated.
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