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Moscow Eases Registration for Foreigners to Dine at ‘Covid-Free’ Restaurants – Reports

Expats complained of their inability to obtain the required QR code proving their vaccination or negative test results. Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

Moscow authorities have eased online registration rules to allow vaccinated or negative-tested foreigners to obtain QR codes needed to dine at “Covid-free” restaurants, Russian state media reported Tuesday.

Starting Monday, June 28, Moscow restaurants will only accept diners who present an official QR code proving their vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 over the past six months or negative PCR test results from the past 72 hours. Expats complained of their inability to use the QR-code system after the latest unprecedented measures were announced to curb an “explosion” of new coronavirus cases and coax hesitant residents into getting vaccinated.

The Moscow administration’s IT chief Eduard Lysenko promised expats and non-Muscovites simplified registration on the Moscow City Hall’s website to obtain the QR codes, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

“To make all this easy for both Russian citizens and foreigners, we’ve provided a simplified registration for a personal account. This minimum level of registration is what you'd see on any website: first and last name, patronymic, date of birth,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted Lysenko as saying. “It’ll be the most convenient and friendly service.”

The city’s latest measures, which also include immediate bans on indoor and outdoor concerts and sports competitions involving more than 500 people, come days after the city confirmed an all-time record number of new Covid-19 infections on Friday.

Sobyanin also ordered last week compulsory vaccination for 60% of service sector workers. Nearly 200 restaurants in Moscow are already part of the city’s trial “Covid-free restaurant” scheme where 100% of staff and customers are vaccinated or immune.

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