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Moscow Lifts Outdoor Mask Requirements as New Coronavirus Cases Slow

The number of new coronavirus cases has dwindled in the Russian capital in recent weeks. Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday that wearing masks will no longer be required outdoors from July 13 as the number of new coronavirus cases has dwindled in the Russian capital in recent weeks.

“A mandatory mask regimen on the streets will be lifted,” Sobyanin said in his blog.

Masks are still required in stores, public transport, medical facilities and other public places, he added.

Health experts recommend that the general public wear cloth masks to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Starting Monday, restrictions will also be lifted for businesses, schools, universities and children’s camps, as well as amusement parks and cultural centers.

The mayor announced that cinemas, theaters and concert halls with fewer than 3,000 seats will reopen in Moscow on Aug. 1. They will be required to seat at no more than half capacity.

Attendance at sporting events will also be bumped from 10% to 50% from Aug. 1.

“If the epidemiological situation worsens, the reopening of individual facilities may be postponed to a later date,” Sobyanin warned.

Moscow had registered a total of 227,363 coronavirus cases as of Thursday, with the daily count of new infections falling below 1,000 since June 24. In his blog, Sobyanin said the daily caseload has dropped more than tenfold since its peak in early May.

Russia has the world’s fourth-highest number of Covid-19 cases, at 707,301. 

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