Russia temporarily bans entry of foreigners amid coronavirus outbreak

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Russian authorities have temporarily banned foreign nationals and stateless persons from entering the country, shut down state schools and limited public gatherings in Moscow in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Russian media reports say the ban on foreign nationals will be enforced from March 18 until May 1, though diplomats, airplane crew members and some other categories of people will be exempt.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mushustin had telephone conversations with prime ministers of Tajikistan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to inform them that Russia will temporarily limit entry of foreign nationals and stateless persons from March 18 until May 1, according to Russian government’s official website.

The ban will not apply to diplomatic representatives, airplane crew members and some other categories of people, the government’s website said.

Russia said it would cancel all sporting events from Monday, while Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin ordered all educational and scientific institutions under his department's jurisdiction to strengthen sanitary and preventative measures against the spread of coronavirus.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin yesterday introduced a raft of measures aimed at limiting damage to the economy, including an anti-crisis fund of 300 billion rubles (equivalent to 4 billion U.S. dollars).

Meanwhile, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin prohibited all outdoor events and limited public indoor events to no more than 50 people until April 10.

The mayor said all state schools, sports schools and further education institutions in the city would be closed from March 21 until April 12.

Sobyanin also widened a list of countries from which new arrivals are obliged to spend 14 days in self-isolation to include all European countries and the United States, according to The Moscow Times.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Russia rose to 93 on Monday, up from 63 the previous day, but no deaths have yet been reported.

SOURCE: ASIA PLUS