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Moscow Cracks Down on Mask and Glove Violations

The Russian capital has required masks and gloves to be worn at all times indoors and on public transportation since May 12. Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Authorities in Moscow have issued sweeping fines for violating face mask and glove requirements in recent weeks as the city looks to enforce coronavirus safety rules, the state-run TASS news agency reported Friday.

The Russian capital has required masks and gloves to be worn at all times indoors and on public transportation since May 12. About 94% of shoppers in Moscow stores wore the protective gear in early June, but this percentage dropped to 68% by mid-July, TASS cited Moscow Mayor’s Office official Alexei Nemeryuk as saying.

Officers issued more than 300 million rubles ($4 million) in fines to more than 6,000 businesses that were found to have violated the requirement, Nemeryuk said.

Two shops were shut down over “numerous violations,” he added.

Moscow metro police also staged raids over the past week to crack down on mask violations. Since May 12, more than 37,000 metro passengers have been fined.

Individuals face fines between 4,000 and 5,000 rubles for violating the rules, while businesses, enterprises and legal entities face fines between 100,000 rubles and 300,000 rubles.

Moscow continues to see the country’s highest numbers of new coronavirus infections, recording 650 to 700 new cases per day in recent weeks, a number higher than in other European capitals. At its peak in early May, Moscow registered around 6,000 new cases per day.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Thursday said the city has reached its "minimum" level of new coronavirus cases. It won't be possible for the numbers to go much lower as "millions of people move around the city," he added. 

Earlier this month, Sobyanin said it was “unlikely” the Russian capital would see a second wave of coronavirus infections.

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