Ther government of Russia mentioned on Saturday that it will allow foreign athletes who are competition n domestic sports leagues to enter the nation as the number of coronavirus or COVID-19 cases crossed 280,000.

The European country closed its borders in March to the foreigners and also stopped the international flights except those which were bringing back the country people or taking them to their native countries, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Russian government allows entry of foreign athletes

putin-calls-poisoned-ex-spy-skripal-a-traitor
Vladimir Putin

The government said athletes and coaches under contract with a Russian sports organization would be put under medical observation and obliged to spend two weeks in quarantine upon their return to the country. "The decision will help professional sports organizations, including the soccer clubs in the Russian Premier League, to resume training after the easing of measures linked to the spread of the coronavirus," the government said in a statement.

The Russian Football Union said on Friday the country's top professional soccer league would resume matches on June 21 after having suspended the season in mid-March because of the coronavirus. President Vladimir Putin said this week it was time to gradually lift the nationwide restrictions that had forced many people to work from home and businesses to temporarily close.

Russia's coronavirus task force said on Sunday it had recorded 9,709 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 281,752, the second-highest in the world after the United States. Ninety-four people died overnight, pushing the death toll to 2,631, the authorities said.

(With agency inputs)