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First Russian Region Orders the Unvaccinated to Self-Isolate

Yulia Ivanko /

A Siberian region of Russia has become the first in the country to impose self-isolation rules for residents who haven’t yet been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Khanty-Mansi autonomous region 2,700 kilometers east of Moscow has instituted the restrictions in four municipalities between Monday and Dec. 5 as Russia battles its fourth and deadliest wave of the pandemic yet.

The self-isolation order will not apply to holders of digital QR code passes which prove one's vaccination status, negative PCR test result or recent Covid-19 recovery. 

Authorities in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region launched an online form for the unvaccinated to apply for “recommended time outside.”

The system provides an hour to walk one's dog, two hours to visit the pharmacy and five hours to attend a funeral, for example.

The regional Covid-19 task force has also banned cultural and sporting events and ordered all restaurants that do not provide takeaway services to close between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from Nov. 22-Dec. 5.

The republic of Tatarstan became the first Russian province to enforce QR code passes on public transit earlier Monday, leading to major delays, arrests and hospitalizations of bus conductors. 

The latest regional measures to incentivize vaccinations come as Russian lawmakers race to mandate vaccine passports for public transport, restaurants and non-essential shops in a bid to combat deeply entrenched vaccine hesitancy.

Russia’s parliament is expected to adopt the QR code requirements, which will come into effect from Feb. 1 and last until at least June 1, 2022, next month.

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