MOSCOW, -- Russian authorities have put some new restrictions on pandemics in place for next year. A top government official stated Friday that the Russian authorities will be implementing some of these restrictions. He reiterated the need to immunize vaccine-reluctant Russians against the coronavirus.
On Friday, two bills detailing the measures were introduced to parliament. These measures would limit access to public places and domestic and international flights to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19.
Tatyana Golikova (Deputy Prime Minister) is the head of Russia's state coronavirus taskforce. She stated that restrictions on public places would be in effect on February 1, 2022. Russians will have to show QR codes from government websites to prove their status.
Golikova stated that people should be allowed to complete paperwork and get vaccinated on their own. "All citizens have the...opportunity to be vaccinated while they wait."
People who have not had a coronavirus test within the last 72 hours can still enter public places. Regional governments will decide which public locations to include in the QR-code system.
The government will announce an additional date when flight and train restrictions will be in effect.
Russia's COVID-19 deaths and infections remain at an all-time high. On Thursday, the state task force reported 40,123 confirmed cases and 1235 deaths. These numbers are slightly lower than the previous record daily totals of 41,335 and 1,239 deaths earlier in this month.
Low vaccination rates, lax attitudes towards taking precautions, and the unwillingness of the government to tighten restrictions are some of the reasons for an increase in deaths and infections.
Only 40% of Russia's almost 146 million citizens have been fully vaccinated. This despite the fact that the country approved a COVID-19 vaccine several months earlier than the rest of the world.
The coronavirus taskforce has reported more than 8.9 Million confirmed infections and almost 253,000 deaths, making it the largest European death toll.
Experts believe that the real number is higher.
Rosstat, Russia's statistical agency, reports that retroactively tally coronavirus linked deaths reveal much higher mortality rates: 462,000 COVID-19-infected people died between April 2020, and September 2019.
Russian officials claim that the task force includes only deaths where COVID-19 is the primary cause. They also use data from medical facilities. Rosstat uses a wider range of criteria to count virus-related deaths. It draws its numbers from civil registry offices that register a death.