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Moscow's First Steps Out of Coronavirus Lockdown, Explained

While Muscovites will be able to walk outside for the first time in two months, certain restrictions still apply. Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Starting Monday, Muscovites will be allowed to walk outside for the first time in two months — with a number of restrictions still in place — as the Russian capital eases some parts of its lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“The new walking rules may seem too complicated. I am not pleased with them either,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said after residents took to social media to compare the rules to George Orwell's "1984" and the Gulag labor camps.

The Moscow Times dove into the new rules, which Sobyanin said could be extended or canceled depending on how the June 1-14 experiment works. 

When and where are walks permitted? 

— Three times per week — twice on workdays and once over the weekend — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. within 2 kilometers of your residence. 

— The city’s website mos.ru and the Yandex search engine will publish the walking schedules, which will divide addresses into six groups allotted three specific walking days each.

— Nearly all parks and green spaces will re-open, with Zaryadye Park near Red Square the only park to remain closed. Visitors are advised to check Yandex for real-time crowding information at specific parks, as they may be closed in times of overcrowding.

— Use of infrastructure that could transmit Covid-19, including benches, pavilions and children’s and sports playgrounds, is banned.

— Muscovites are still asked to follow social distancing guidelines.

Can I exercise outdoors?

— Outdoor sporting activities will be allowed for everyone before 9 a.m. beyond the 2-kilometer limit.

— Personal sporting equipment including bicycles, scooters and electric scooters, roller skates, skateboards and Nordic walking sticks will be allowed.

Do I need a digital pass to take a walk? 

— Not if you’re traveling by foot. 

— Passes are required if you’re going by car, public transport or are visiting the non-food shops that will reopen Monday. 

— Currently valid digital passes have been extended through June 14.

Do I need to wear a mask and gloves?

— Masks are required at all times, including when going out for a walk and exercising outdoors.

— Gloves are required on public transport and inside all shops and businesses.

Can I use the walking time to visit friends and family? 

— No.

— Coronavirus patients, their contacts, people with respiratory symptoms and other quarantined individuals are still banned from walking outside.

What ID should I bring with me?

— Copies or screenshots of passports, registration papers or lease agreements, or proof of property ownership. 

— Authorities and inspectors will check the address listed on your documents for compliance with the walking schedule.

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