Russia has reinstated a nationwide mask mandate starting Wednesday in an effort to slow a record rise in coronavirus infections, consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said on Tuesday.
“All those residing in Russia are obliged to ensure the use of hygienic masks in order to protect the respiratory system in places of mass gatherings, on public transport, including taxis, in parking lots and elevators”, the watchdog said.
Rospotrebnadzor has also recommended that all restaurants close between 11 pm and 6 am.
The country passed the 1.5 million mark for COVID-19 infections over the weekend. It set a daily record of 17,347 new cases on Monday. The new rules come amid widespread reports of hospital bed, medication and staff shortages across the country.
Russia imposed a national mask mandate at the start of its outbreak in spring, and lifted it in July as COVID-19 cases began to decrease. Rospotrebnadzor forecast that the pandemic will likely not decline until the summer of 2021.