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St. Petersburg to Tighten Coronavirus Restrictions Over New Year Holiday

St. Petersburg's cafes and restaurants are due to shut down amid coronavirus restrictions. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

St. Petersburg authorities have ordered the city’s cafes, restaurants, museums, theaters and concert halls to shut down during the New Year holiday, the most festive time of the year in Russia, due to the coronavirus.

The stricter restrictions will be in place from Dec. 30 until Jan. 10, according to the decree signed by St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov on Wednesday. 

A number of the restrictions will go into effect starting this week, however. 

Starting Friday, the city’s water parks, aquariums, shopping malls, museums, exhibitions, theaters and performing arts organizations will close their doors to visitors. All indoor and outdoor events featuring more than 50 people will be suspended as well. 

"From Dec. 30 until Jan. 3, the work of public dining establishments is completely suspended," the document says. 

From Dec. 25 to Dec. 29 and from Jan. 4 to Jan. 10, cafes and restaurants will not be able to receive visitors from 7:00 p.m. until 6.00 a.m. 

The restrictions will not apply to workplace cafeterias, food delivery and take-away services or dining establishments at train stations, airports and gas stations, the document said. 

St. Petersburg has had the second-highest rate of new coronavirus infections in Russia in recent weeks, with 3,684 new cases confirmed Wednesday.

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