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How Do Moscow’s Coronavirus Lockdown Passes Work?

Moscow is tightening its control of movement around the city as its coronavirus cases topped 10,000. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Moscow is tightening its lockdown with digital passes this week as the Russian capital’s coronavirus count surpassed 10,000 cases and officials warned of a continued influx of patients.

Here’s an overview of what the citywide pass system means for Muscovites’ everyday life:

When does it start?

— Digital passes will become mandatory this Wednesday but can be obtained as soon as Monday.

Who does it apply to?

— Those who need to leave their homes for medical emergencies (their passes are valid for one day only).

— Those who need to leave their homes for other reasons (their passes are valid for one day and cannot be obtained more than twice a week).

— Essential workers (their passes are valid until the system is scheduled to end on April 30).

Who is exempt from the pass system?

— Public officials, troops, security guards, judges, lawyers, public notaries and journalists.

Where do I get a digital pass?

— Those who will need to leave their homes this week can apply for permits by sending a text message to number 7377 or applying on Moscow City Hall’s special website. (The website was inaccessible as of Monday morning.)

— The passes can be printed out or saved on one’s phone. People without a printer or a cellphone can also write their pass code on a sheet of paper.

Where do the digital passes apply?

— Private and public transport, including metros, buses, rail links and taxis. (Moscow’s IT chief Eduard Lysenko said taxi services will be able to check their clients’ passes online.)

— Pedestrians don’t need passes for now, as long as they’re leaving the house to go to the nearest grocery store, take out the garbage or walk their dogs within a 100-meter radius of their residence.

What happens to people who violate the lockdown orders?

— Under a decree signed by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin earlier this month, those who violate lockdown orders will face fines between 4,000 rubles ($50) and 5,000 rubles ($63). Authorities can also impound violators’ cars.

— On Monday, Lysenko said those who don't use digital passes when required will face fines ranging from 1,000 rubles ($14) and 40,000 rubles ($540).

What information am I required to share with the pass system?

— Your first and last name, passport number, phone number and an employer’s tax identification number where applicable.

Do I need to carry anything else besides the pass?

— Your passport. 

Who will check the passes?

— Police and traffic police. National Guard officers can run ID checks but cannot issue fines, according to city councilman Kirill Shchitov.

What happens to my data?

— Sobyanin said that all personal data will be deleted when the permit system is lifted. 

When will it end?

— Sobyanin said that the pass system will remain in force until April 30. 

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