The residents of Moscow started to resume the normal routines on Tuesday as a lockdown designed for curbing the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19 got lifted after more than two months despite the capital of Russia still confirming over a thousand cases daily.
Almost 13 million people of Moscow are currently free to go outside whenever they want, use public transport and also travel around the city in their own vehicles without any digital passes and also limitations.
Coronavirus Restrictions Lifted in Moscow
"We're free now, you can walk around as long as you wear a mask," said Pavel, a pensioner, who was doing some morning exercise without a mask. "We'll need to be careful, we will be careful." Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow's mayor, announced the easing on Monday, saying the pandemic was receding in the city and that he would start rolling back restrictions on Tuesday with others due to being removed later this month.
Anti-Kremlin critics have questioned the wisdom of Sobyanin's decision, accusing him of rushing the lockdown lifting in order to pave the way for a Red Square military parade later this month and a July 1 nationwide vote that could extend President Vladimir Putin's rule until 2036.
Decision Motivated by Decrease in Coronavirus Cases
Sobyanin has said his decision was motivated purely by the fact that coronavirus numbers in the capital had steadily fallen in recent weeks, Muscovites' responsible behavior, and by the fact that the strain on the city's health system has eased. Most commuters were wearing masks on Moscow's sprawling metro system on Tuesday, which was still less busy than it was prior to the outbreak.
Authorities said on Tuesday they had recorded 8,595 new nationwide cases in the last 24 hours, pushing Russia's tally to 485,253, the third-highest in the world. The country has recorded 6,142 deaths from the virus. Moscow itself reported 1,572 new virus cases on Tuesday.
(With agency inputs)