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.