MOSCOW — The Russian capital has eased the restrictions intended to stem the coronavirus outbreak, allowing all non-food retailers and some other businesses to reopen.
Monday’s reopening of retail stores along with dry cleaners and repair shops comes as the pace of contagion has stabilized in the Russian capital that has accounted for about half of the nation’s infections. Residents are also allowed now to walk in the parks and engage in sports activities with time restrictions. Restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and gyms remain closed and people are still required to obtain electronic passes for traveling.
Most Russian regions were in lockdown since late March, but many already have eased the restrictions to ease the economic pain.
Russia has registered nearly 415,000 infections, the world’s third-highest caseload behind the United States and Brazil. Some experts in Russia and abroad have voiced doubts about the nation’s relatively low death toll of 4,855, alleging that the authorities might have underreported coronavirus mortality for political reasons. Officials have rejected the claims, saying the low death toll reflects efficient preventative measures and broad testing.