Russia completely closes borders to slow coronavirus spread

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Russia is to completely close its borders from Monday to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Saturday.

A decree on the government’s website said Russia would “temporarily restrict traffic” across national borders to prevent new infections.

The country closed its borders to foreigners last week and grounded all international flights on Thursday as part of increasingly stringent measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Russia.

Read more: Russia’s PM calls on citizens to stay home due to coronavirus

Health officials have registered 1,264 cases of coronavirus and four deaths, according to Saturday’s official tally.

Russian diplomats and truck drivers will be exempted from the new restrictions.

Russian citizens living permanently in the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk would also still be allowed to cross the border, the decree said.

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