Moscow mayor orders all residents to stay at home amid coronavirus pandemic

People wearing face masks, amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, walk on Red Square in downtown Moscow on March 26, 2020. (AFP)

Moscow’s mayor announced strict isolation rules for the city from Monday, as coronavirus cases climbed in the Russian capital.

The new restrictions would apply to all the city’s residents, regardless of age, mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a statement Sunday.

Residents of the capital will only be allowed to leave their homes in the case of a medical emergency, to travel to jobs judged essential by the authorities, and shop for food or medicines, the statement read.

Previously, only Muscovites over the age of 65 were under orders to remain in their homes under rules that came into force last Monday.

Residents in the capital will be allowed to take out trash and walk their dogs within a 100-metre radius of their homes, Sunday’s order said.

Muscovites exempt from the rules would be issued with a special pass by city authorities in the coming days, Sobyanin added.

The new isolation rules would be policed by a “smart system of monitoring compliance,” in what appeared to be a reference to a vast system of facial-recognition cameras in Moscow.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

“Gradually, but steadily, we will tighten the control necessary in this situation,” said Sobyanin.

The new isolation measures will come into force the same day as Russia’s borders close as part of increasingly stringent measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Health officials registered 1,534 cases of coronavirus and eight deaths, according to Sunday’s official tally.

The streets of Moscow were eerily quiet on Saturday following the closure of all non-essential shops, including restaurants and cafes, as part of preventative measures.

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.

Last Update: 06:57 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57