Coronavirus latest: Covid stalks UK pub groups and retailers as lockdowns bite

President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to forgo their traditional Thanksgiving customs during the pandemic, warning of the dangers of coronavirus “fatigue”. “This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to the fight,” Mr Biden said in a Thanksgiving speech.

ExxonMobil said it will sack up to 300 workers at its Canadian affiliates, including oil sands producer Imperial Oil, as it continues to reduce costs in the wake of the coronavirus-led crash this year. “The impact of Covid-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the efficiency work,” the company said.

Turkey is in the midst of a severe resurgence of coronavirus, the country’s health minister has confirmed as he announced a full figure for confirmed new daily cases after months of opacity. Health minister Fahrettin Koca said in a press conference that authorities had identified 28,351 confirmed cases of the virus in the past 24 hours.

The UK pub industry has outlined the desperate straits they face over the Christmas period in a letter to the prime minister that calls for the immediate publication of evidence of the virus spreading in pubs. The letter was signed by the British Beer and Pub Association alongside the majority of the UK’s large pub groups.

New York on Wednesday reported more than 6,000 coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time in seven months. A further 6,265 people tested positive over 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed at a press conference, up from 4,881 on Tuesday.

The US goods trade deficit swelled last month as a recovery in domestic demand has driven imports back above pre-crisis levels. The trade gap, which US president Donald Trump had vowed to slash during his four years in office, widened to $80.3bn in October, from $79.4bn in September, the Department of Commerce said.

More than £56m has been set aside to support an additional 1,000 loans for entrepreneurs under the start-up loans scheme administered by the state-owned British Business Bank. The government has said that £519m would be allocated for the broader Covid-19 loans schemes through 2021.

Global trade rose for the fourth consecutive month in September, narrowing the gap with last year’s level as China’s economic rebound fuelled global imports and exports. The volume of international goods trade rose 2.1 per cent in September compared with August, according to a widely watched world trade monitor published by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

Large minorities in “frugal” EU countries are concerned about the misuse of the bloc’s €750bn pandemic recovery fund. The EU sealed a deal on the recovery fund in July after resistance from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, which were opposed to the idea of permitting the union to borrow money and hand it out as budgetary expenditure for member states.

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Sussan Ley’s latest koala plan is a national disaster

A new plan announced by Sussan Ley indicates the Morrison Government’s refusal to protect koalas and drive them to extinction, writes Sue Arnold.

WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT of her latest plan to “save koalas”, Federal Minister Sussan Ley has confirmed she lives in a different reality. One that is focused on ensuring the only koalas people see, in the looming future, will be in zoos.

In fact, the plan is so deficient that it can only be described as a national disaster. Doling out more taxpayer dollars, Ley announced an $18 million policy — $2 million for a census to establish “baseline” population data, $2 million for koala health research and $14 million for habitat restoration. 

Ms Ley declared:

“This is a line in the sand, we’re ruling a line under where we are on koalas right now. We are doing this because it needs to happen. I’ve been so frustrated that no one could give me the data I needed… it’s just not there — only in patches.”

Unfortunately, the Minister is not alone in her frustration. Ley’s complete and abject failure to take any emergency action to protect a rapidly disappearing beloved species should be grounds to sack the Minister. Except, in reality, she’s just doing Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s bidding.

You know, the PM who famously said at the G20 meeting that world leaders must safeguard the planet for the generations to come.

How much spin can the public stand?

Ley went further with the latest effort:

Launching the initiative at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, Minister Ley said the koala audit would help direct Commonwealth, state and private funding to where it will achieve the most good for the species.


“For all our focus on koalas, scientists are telling us that there is a serious lack of data about where populations actually are, how they are faring and the best ways to help them recover after the devastating bushfires,” Minister Ley said.


“$2 million from this package will be devoted to filling those gaps, identifying where koala habitat areas can be expanded and establishing an annual monitoring program.


“Taronga Zoo is a shining example of what can be achieved, where staff are utilising Australian Government funding to identify emerging risks following the fires, develop captive breeding programs and build future bushfire response capacity from animal collection to the upskilling of veterinary teams.”

In April, Ley provided Australia’s zoos and aquariums with a $94.6 million support package:

While COVID-19 may be keeping visitors away, zookeepers, aquarium owners and veterinarians continue to play a lead role in wildlife recovery after the bushfires, from treatment and rehabilitation to the development of insurance populations.


At the same time, they are caring for millions of animals who live permanently within their network and this is critical funding to support the welfare of those animals along with the vital ongoing role zoos play in conserving our environment and protecting native species.

Imagine how much habitat $94.6 million would have acquired.

Sussan Ley's approval of quarry development set to destroy koala habitat

 But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

No information has been provided on where any $2 million census will be carried out. Given that koalas are found in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, $2 million will not cut the mustard. Nor do we know who will be in charge or how such a census would be undertaken.

$2 million for koala research? Millions and millions of dollars have been granted to various scientists and institutions to find a cure for chlamydia, a disease caused by stress, resulting in a diminished immune system and high mortality.

No cure has been found. The cause is clear — the destruction of habitat.

$18 million for habitat restoration? Where? Is this a tree-planting exercise? Koala tree seedlings take seven years to be suitable for feed and shelter needs.

If the $18 million is to acquire habitat, the amount is insignificant.

What’s happened to the National Koala Recovery Plan which was required after NSW, Queensland and A.C.T. koalas were designated as vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act in 2012.

The Recovery Plan is now eight years overdue.

Ley doesn’t have the data to inform the location of koalas, yet every state government with koalas has mapping, extensive studies pre and post the catastrophic bushfires.

A quick check of her approvals given to development projects which destroy koala habitat would provide excellent baseline data.

Sussan Ley's largesse: Koalas failed to make the grade

Ley could review the various roundtable meetings she set up post the bushfires which provided exquisite detail of where the worst damage occurred.

Climate change impacts have, as usual, been ignored in spite of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature designating the koala as one of ten global species most vulnerable to climate change.

In NSW, unburned forests which are the remaining koala hubs (identified by the NSW Government) are being bulldozed. Perhaps Ley has forgotten that under the Regional Forest Agreements, no legal challenges are permitted so koalas and wildlife just keeping dying.

Has the Minister not been advised that developers can self refer their projects to the Federal Government? Or that the federal koala referral guidelines are not mandatory?

Has the amendment legislation to the EPBC Act – soon to be voted on in the Senate – handing over approval for major projects to the states slipped her mind?

What about the Common Assessment Method which prohibits any regional protection of listed wildlife species?

Can she explain why the wildlife and habitat bushfire recovery program grants of $12 million were not allocated to koala conservation?

How about an explanation as to why a scientific submission currently being assessed by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to upgrade koalas to endangered status in NSW, Queensland and A.C.T. will not be decided until October 2021?

How about the recommendations by the interim report on the independent review of the EPBC Act by Professor Graeme Samuel? Can Ley explain why the recommendations have been completely ignored?

Berejiklian Government backs koala extinction plan for Campbelltown

Of course, it would be nice to know how Ley managed to approve the Brandy Hill Quarry extension, which will see 52 hectares of koala habitat eradicated, a couple of weeks before her koala plan announcement.

And to top it all off, the Chair of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, Professor Helene Marsh, is reported in the press saying:

‘…there are “lots of places where koalas occur where we know very, very little” about the species and the census was a “very significant move by the Minister”.’

Actually, the scientific community, conservation organisations, wildlife shelters and governments know exactly where koalas are located. Baseline data is also available on the Federal Government’s Species Profile and Threats Database.

There is a number of reports available which detail the extent of damage to koalas and their habitats provided by the independent expert panel on bushfire recovery convened by Ley in January. The reports stress the importance of emergency action.

Unfortunately, there are no emergency provisions in the EPBC Act or any state legislation.  

Sussan Ley’s koala plan is a sick joke. The plan is an indication of the Morrison Government’s ongoing refusal to protect Australia’s iconic, irreplaceable species.

By far the worst outcome of this latest propaganda is an obvious conclusion.

There’s no end to this obscene game plan other than extinction.

Sue Arnold is an IA columnist and freelance investigative journalist. You can follow Sue on Twitter @koalacrisis.

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South Australia’s latest coronavirus case linked to Parafield cluster via Woodville Pizza Bar

SA Health has linked the positive coronavirus case at Woodville High School to the Parafield cluster through the pizza bar that was at the centre of South Australia’s brief lockdown last week.

Authorities announced yesterday evening that a teenage girl who attends the high school has tested positive to COVID-19.

Anyone who was at the high school on Monday this week has been told to isolate immediately, as have all members of those people’s households, until further notice.

About 1,000 students have already gone into isolation.

This morning, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Mike Cusack said the case was part of the Parafield cluster, in which COVID-19 was spread by a cleaner and two security guards at the Peppers medi-hotel to close contacts and family members.

Dr Cusack said the link between the cluster and the student’s case is suspected of being trough the Woodville Pizza Bar, where one of the security guards had worked while infectious.

But Dr Cusack said the exact way the high school student caught the virus was yet to be established.

He said SA Health contact tracers had worked through the night in efforts to narrow down how the virus was transmitted and who may be at risk.

“We do believe that the case is linked to the Parafield cluster and does not represent unknown transmission in the community,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“The link that we’re looking at, at this stage, is the pizza bar.

“We believe that the student was in school on Monday when they were likely to have been infectious.”

He urged anyone who has been in the Woodville area, and who develops COVID-19 symptoms, to self-isolate and get tested for the virus.

Anyone who attended Woodville High School on November 23 has been ordered into isolation with their household.(Supplied: Woodville High School)

Education Department staff and industrial cleaning crews have arrived at Woodville High School this morning, where multiple cleaning crews are undertaking a deep clean of the site.

South Australia was sent into lockdown last week partly on the basis of a lie the security guard had allegedly told contact tracers — that he had purchased food there, but did not work there.

That claim South Australian health authorities to believe the virus was extremely transmissible and that potentially thousands of people could have picked up the virus from getting food at the pizza shop.

The lockdown was cancelled when it became clear the man had worked there, and he has expressed remorse and apologised.

Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier is expected to provide more detail on the latest case at a media conference today.

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Coronavirus latest: Italy reports highest daily death toll since March-end

Peter Wells in New York

California and Texas reported increases in cases on Monday that pulled back from record jumps in infections over the weekend, while Florida reported its biggest one-day jump in deaths in more than a month.

The US states, which rank first, second and third by population — and coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic — have begun to exhibit some of the worrying metrics they displayed during the summer, when they led a surge in cases throughout the sunbelt.

California reported a further 8,337 cases on Monday, down from 14,319 on Sunday and compared with 9,890 on Monday last week. The state reported a record 15,442 infections on Saturday, soaring past the previous record of 12,807 during its summer peak in late July.

Texas reported 6,576 new cases on Monday, down from 8,554 on Sunday and compared with 6,858 on Monday last week. The state, which ranks second in the US by population, set a record of 12,597 new cases on November 21.

Authorities also revealed 128 historical cases, which are not included in the daily number, including 104 from the region around Houston.

Florida’s health department this afternoon revealed a further 6,331 cases, close to the 6,374 on Sunday and compared with 4,530 a week earlier.

Unlike California and Texas, the Sunshine State has not reported more than 10,000 cases in a single day since the worst of its summer outbreak in July, according to Financial Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.

Florida authorities on Monday attributed a further 96 deaths to coronavirus. That is the biggest one-day increase in fatalities since October 16, and excluding October 22, when technical difficulties over the weekend resulted in two days of data being reported in one go.

The death tolls in Texas and California rose by 50 and 32, respectively, on Monday. Last week, the two states reported daily increases in deaths that were their highest in at least a month.

After New York, Texas, California and Florida have attributed the highest number of deaths to coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Nov. 24

Russia has confirmed 2,138,828 of coronavirus and 37,031 deaths.

Nov. 24: What you need to know today

  • Russia confirmed 24,326 coronavirus cases and a new record of 491 deaths.
  • A contact tracing smartphone app developed by the Ministry of Digital Development is now available on App Store and Google Play. The app, called Gosuslugi.COVID Treker, alerts users of possible exposure to the coronavirus using the Exposure Notification system developed by Apple and Google. Installation of the app remains voluntary. 
  • Russia will start mass vaccination against coronavirus in 2021, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said Tuesday. Developers plan to produce 2 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year. 
  • Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective, its developers said Tuesday. The calculations were based on preliminary data obtained 42 days after volunteers received the first dose, the Health Ministry, the state-run Gamaleya research center and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a joint statement.

Nov. 20

— The first samples of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrived in Hungary, its developers reported Friday. In a move that has drawn criticism from the European Commission, Hungary is set to become the first EU member state to carry out trials and possibly use Russia’s vaccine.

— Residents of Perm and Voronezh are among those most likely to contract coronavirus within Russia, according to the analysis by the research arm of Russia’s dominant lender Sber. Residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg are among those with the lowest risk of getting infected. 

Nov. 19

— St. Petersburg will order the closure of all food courts and ice rinks located in shopping malls, while all sporting events will be held without spectators starting Nov. 23, Governor Alexander Beglov announced Thursday. Cinemas, theaters and concert halls will be allowed to fill no more than 25% of seats, according to restrictions taking effect from Dec. 1.

Nov. 18

— A total of 221,000 patients with confirmed coronavirus infections are currently undergoing treatment across Russia’s hospitals and approximately 5,000 of them require mechanical ventilation, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday. Coronavirus patients currently occupy 20% of all intensive care beds in the country. 

— The Vladimir region’s governor was medevaced to a private Moscow clinic for coronavirus treatment because he allegedly feared being hospitalized in his home region, anonymous sources reported Tuesday. The governor later explained on social media that he did so out of concern for the region’s residents.

Nov. 17

— Moscow schoolchildren in grades 6-11 will continue to attend classes remotely until Dec. 6, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Tuesday. This is the second extension of the measure that was first introduced in October.

— Lenin’s mausoleum and the Kremlin necropolis will be closed to visitors starting Nov. 17 in order to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Federal Protective Service agency announced.

— A mutated version of the coronavirus strain that causes Covid-19 has been discovered in Siberia, Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova said Tuesday. Popova also noted that none of the mutations discovered in Russia so far have been shown to make the virus more contagious or dangerous.

— Russia has developed a smartphone app that alerts users of possible exposure to the coronavirus, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media announced. The app’s release date is yet to be confirmed. 

Nov. 16

— The eastern Siberian republic of Buryatia became the first Russian region to impose a second coronavirus lockdown. Restaurants, malls and other places of mass gathering will be shut down for two weeks starting Monday.

— Russia will transition to freeze-dried doses of its coronavirus vaccine as a workaround to the logistical challenges of transporting liquid doses at controlled temperatures, Reuters reported Monday. 

— The Ivanovo region is experiencing a shortage of mortuary cabinets amid a growing number of coronavirus deaths. Regional morgues are overflowing and the coronavirus situation is expected to worsen even further, a regional Health Ministry official said Monday. 

Nov. 13

— Hungary is set to become the first EU member state to carry out trials of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, its authorities said, with the first samples of the jab expected to arrive from Russia by the end of next week.

— South Korea’s GL Rapha biotechnology firm has signed on to produce over 150 million Sputnik V doses per year, the Russian Direct Investment Fund that is bankrolling the vaccine said. Production is expected to begin next month and South Korea-produced doses will be intended for global distribution.

— Russia resumed flights with Ethiopia and the Seychelles, where it said new coronavirus cases did not exceed 1% of the population over the past two weeks.

Nov. 12

— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been hospitalized with coronavirus, his press secretary confirmed Thursday, saying his symptoms are mild and he continues to work from the hospital.

— Russia’s flagship air carrier Aeroflot will resume flights with Cyprus starting Nov. 22, the Russian Embassy in Nicosia said. The flights will not immediately be open to Russian tourists.

— President Vladimir Putin asked his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron for France’s help in producing a coronavirus vaccine in a Nov. 7 phone call, French media reported.

Nov. 11

— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 92% effective, its developers said, citing interim data from the jab’s Phase 3 trials.

— About one in three, or 31%, of coronavirus infections in Russia are asymptomatic, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said.

Nov. 10

— Moscow will order all bars, restaurants, clubs and other nighttime establishments to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. The order will be valid from Nov. 13 through Jan. 15, 2021, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced.

— Students at city universities and colleges in Moscow will be switched to remote learning, Sobyanin said.

— At least three medics in Siberia who received the Sputnik V vaccine have contracted the coronavirus as part of a vaccination drive of at-risk groups, regional authorities said Tuesday.

Nov. 9

— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective, Reuters cited a Health Ministry representative as saying Monday. The percentage is based on data collated from vaccinations of the public rather than from the vaccine’s ongoing Phase 3 trials, Reuters reported.

— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Monday that he has tested positive for coronavirus, adding that he feels “good” and is continuing to work while self-isolating.

Nov. 7

— Chinese authorities suspended entry for Russians with valid visas and residence permits because of Russia’s spike in coronavirus cases, the Chinese Embassy in Moscow announced Thursday. 

— Russia has recorded almost 120,000 excess deaths since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, analysis of official statistics on fatalities published Friday revealed. Meanwhile, Russia’s federal statistics service (Rosstat) said a total of 9,798 people with Covid-19 died during September, the latest month for which figures are available. This was up from the 7,463 seen in August, which marked a lull in the number of reported infections across the country.

Nov. 5

— Moscow schoolchildren in grades 6-11 will continue to attend classes remotely until November 22, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. The measure was first introduced three weeks ago and, according to Sobyanin, has proven to be effective in slowing the spread of coronavirus. 

— Sobyanin also noted that the coronavirus outbreak is “worsening” in Moscow despite the containment measures in place. 

— Up to 40% of Covid-19 tests performed in Russia could be “false negatives” due to the sample collection errors, the state-run Interfax agency reported citing Russia’s chief pulmonologist Sergei Avdeev. 

— The vice-governor of St Petersburg Oleg Ergashev said that coronavirus hospitalization rates in the city have reached 600 people per day, leaving available only 9% of all hospital beds allocated for coronavirus patients. 

Nov. 4

— Russia is set to miss the self-imposed coronavirus vaccination timeline, information obtained by the business news website The Bell suggests. While the authorities have vowed to vaccinate a sizable part of Russia’s population by the end of 2020, issues faced by developers won’t allow them to produce the required number of vaccine doses by year-end.

Nov. 3

— Hospitals in the Novosibirsk region will stop performing non-urgent medical procedures to allocate more resources for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, the state-run Interfax agency reported Tuesday citing a regional official.  

— Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor watchdog believes that most of the country’s “imported” coronavirus cases came from Turkey, the agency’s head Anna Popova said Tuesday. 

— About 30% of Russia’s pharmacies don’t have essential coronavirus treatment drugs available for sale, results of the evaluation conducted by the ruling United Russia party suggest. 

Nov. 2

— Only 36% of Russians are ready to vaccinate against Covid-19, according to the results of an independent Levada Center poll published by Russia’s Open Media news Monday. The share of Russians unwilling to vaccinate has risen to 59% in October from nearly 54% in August. 

— All of Moscow’s McDonald’s restaurants will implement a QR code check-in system for its visitors, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday citing the company’s press service.

— Head of Russia’s consumer safety watchdog Anna Popova said that the number of new infections is increasing in 33 out of 85 Russian regions with only 19 regions reporting a slow down of the daily case growth. 

Nov. 1

— Over 150 patients were evacuated from a coronavirus hospital on Saturday in the Ural city of Chelyabinsk following an oxygen explosion and fire. 

— All of Russia’s regions are currently experiencing shortages of doctors to fight the coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

— Russia’s coronavirus vaccine faces equipment shortages that could delay it from entering mass production, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday as reports suggested that developers have paused clinical trials due to the shortages.

— Russia has no plans to introduce nationwide lockdown measures, Putin said, saying “justified, targeted” measures would allow the economy to stay open.

Oct. 28

— Moscow has extended its requirement for 30% of all businesses’ employees to work remotely through Nov. 28, while students from grades 6-11 will continue distance learning through Nov. 8, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

— Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that 80.9% of Russia’s hospital beds for coronavirus patients are currently occupied. Five regions of the country are at over 95% of their bed capacity for coronavirus patients, she added.

Oct. 27

— Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is self-isolating after coming into contact with an individual infected with coronavirus, the state-run TASS news agency cited the Foreign Ministry as saying Tuesday. All of Lavrov’s planned meetings have been postponed but he is reportedly feeling well.

— Russia has reinstated a nationwide mask mandate starting Wednesday and has recommended that restaurants and bars close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

— Bars and clubs in Moscow will stay open past 11 p.m. and will continue to use the QR code check-in system, authorities said.

— A total of 124 employees of the Bolshoi Theater currently have coronavirus, its director Vladimir Urin said at a presidential arts and culture council meeting Tuesday.

Oct. 26

— People with high temperatures will no longer be allowed onto Moscow’s public transportation, the city’s transport department said Monday. Thermal imagers will be installed at entrances to measure passengers’ body temperatures.

— Ninety-one State Duma deputies have contracted the coronavirus, 38 of whom have been hospitalized, State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told President Vladimir Putin.

— Moscow has opened its fifth reserve hospital for coronavirus patients, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

— Around 85% of Russian volunteers who receive the country’s highly touted coronavirus Sputnik V vaccine report no side effects, according to the shot’s developer.

Oct. 25

— Authorities in the southwestern Siberian city of Novokuznetsk said a shortage of coroners as well as quarantined residents unable to collect their loved ones has resulted in its morgue filling up with dead bodies, including those who had died from the coronavirus.

Oct. 23

— A device that tests for the coronavirus based on the sound of a cough could appear at Russian airports in the next few months, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Oct. 20

— A number of Russian regions risk facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that is 10 times worse than the first, a senior Russian vector-borne disease expert said.

Oct. 19

— Senior Russian healthcare professionals say they expect the country’s number of daily Covid-19 infections to peak at 20,000 before stabilizing within the next two weeks.

— Starting Oct. 19, Muscovites will be required to register their phone numbers before they can enter bars and nightclubs in order to control the spread of coronavirus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. People will be required to scan a QR code or send a text message to a designated number when entering a bar or club after midnight.

— In the surrounding Moscow region, all nighttime entertainment after midnight is banned. Museums, exhibitions and public events including sporting events will be banned in the region from Oct. 21.

— St. Petersburg authorities are reportedly planning to order all restaurants, bars and other establishments to close from midnight to 6 a.m. every day starting Oct. 26.

Oct. 16

— Passengers without face masks and gloves won’t be allowed to enter the Moscow metro starting Friday.

— Russia resumed flights with Serbia and Cuba on Oct. 15 and will resume flights with Japan from Nov. 1, the RBC news website reported, citing Russia’s air transport agency Rosaviatsia.

Oct. 14

— Russia has approved its second coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin announced as the peptide-based shot developed by a Siberian biotech company readies for large-scale trials.

— Russia plans to resume flights to Japan, Serbia and Cuba starting next month, the country’s coronavirus crisis center announced.

— Russia has cleared two antiviral drugs called remdesivir for coronavirus treatment after doctors used the drugs to treat U.S. President Donald Trump, the Health Ministry announced.

— First-to-fifth graders in Moscow will be able to return to school starting next week, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Older students will continue to attend classes remotely for at least two more weeks.

Oct. 13

— President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a Security Council commission tasked with creating a nationwide system for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. The commission will be headed by former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

— Nearly 96,000 people have been fined in Moscow for violating mask and glove-wearing requirements on public transport since May, a city transport official told the state-run TASS news agency Tuesday.

Oct. 9

— Russia has carried out more than 500,000 coronavirus tests in a single day for the first time since the start of the pandemic, consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

Oct. 8

— Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is self-isolating after coming into contact with a coronavirus-infected individual, the Church announced.

Oct. 5

— Starting Monday, Moscow employers will be required to transfer 30% of their employees to remote work through Oct. 28 due to the city’s coronavirus situation. Workers over the age of 65 and those suffering from chronic diseases will also be required to work remotely. Workers at medical institutions, defense agencies, Rosatom and Roscosmos are exempt from the new rules.

Oct. 3

— Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko has been hospitalized with double pneumonia, his wife said Saturday, days after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Oct. 2

— Moscow could receive bulk shipments of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020 while the vaccine continues to undergo final clinical trials, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Sept. 29

— Moscow’s schools will take a two-week vacation from Oct.5-18 in order to slow the city’s rise in coronavirus cases, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced, saying that a large number of asymptomatic cases are among children. 

— The State Duma will partially return to remote work to prevent the spread of coronavirus, its speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced Tuesday.

— Volodin added that eight deputies have been hospitalized with coronavirus in the past week, bringing the total to 18. Overall, 60 State Duma deputies have been infected and recovered from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. 

Sept. 28

— Around 5,000 volunteers including those who are at higher risk of severe infection have received Russia’s coronavirus vaccine as part of final clinical trials for safety and effectiveness, its developer said.

Sept. 26

— Russia’s coronavirus treatment drug Avifavir will be made available in 17 more countries in addition to the six countries where it is already sold, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said in a statement Thursday. 

— Russia’s second candidate vaccine against the coronavirus is less than a month away from state approval after completing small-scale human trials, the vaccine’s developers said this week. 

Sept. 25

— Moscow is urging its businesses to reinstate work-from-home measures and elderly residents to avoid going outside starting next week as the city sees a new uptick in coronavirus cases, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Friday.

Sept. 24

— Moscow confirmed more than 1,000 coronavirus cases for the first time since June 23.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has reportedly asked Sberbank, Yandex and Rostec to resume remote work for some employees, the RBC news website reported, citing copies of Sobyanin’s letters it obtained.

Sept. 22

— President Vladimir Putin in a speech at the United Nations boasted of Russia’s creation of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, though it has not completed large-scale clinical trials.

— Russia will share legal liability for unexpected side effects of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the head of its sovereign wealth fund told Reuters, a move that could potentially result in costly compensation claims for its developers. 

— At least 10 members of Russia’s lower house of parliament are currently hospitalized with coronavirus and more than 50 have developed antibodies, its speaker said.

Sept. 21

— Authorities in China’s eastern Jilin province have discovered traces of coronavirus on packages of frozen squid imported from Russia, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported

— Recruits in Moscow have reported no side effects after taking China’s candidate coronavirus vaccine as part of large-scale clinical trials, the Russian pharmaceutical company working with the vaccine’s Chinese developers announced.

Sept. 19

— Russia said it will resume flights with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from Sept. 21 and with South Korea from Sept. 27.

Sept. 18

— Russia said it will resume flights with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from Sept. 21 and with South Korea from Sept. 27.

Sept. 16

— Russia will sell 100 million doses of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to India once final trials and regulatory steps are completed, Russia’s sovereign fund that is bankrolling the project announced.

Sept. 11

— Nearly half of Russians say they will never vaccinate against the coronavirus regardless of its country of production, according to a survey cited by the RBC news website.

Sept. 10

— Moscow authorities will no longer require a two-week home quarantine period for people with symptoms of acute respiratory viral infection if the individuals test negative for coronavirus, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said.

— The Bolshoi Theater has canceled its Sept. 10 performance of the opera “Don Carlos” after one of its soloists tested positive for the coronavirus. The iconic Moscow theater re-opened to the public for the first time since March on Sept. 6 and had staged two performances of “Don Carlos” so far.

Sept. 9

— Russia has launched Phase 3 trials of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to determine the jab’s long-term safety and effectiveness, authorities said Wednesday. A group of prominent scientists and doctors has questioned the published results of the vaccine’s initial trials.

Sept. 7

— Saudi King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the possible joint production of a Russian coronavirus vaccine, the Kremlin said.

Sept. 5

— Russia recorded more than 30,000 excess deaths in July as the coronavirus pandemic continued to sweep across the country, new data from the country’s statistics service Rosstat has shown.

Sept. 4

— For the first time since Aug. 15, more than 5,000 people were infected with coronavirus in Russia on Friday (5,100) bringing the country’s official number of cases to 1,015,105. 

— 121 people died overnight. 17,649 have died since the start of the pandemic.

— Russia has added Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives to the list of countries it plans to restart flights with five months after closing its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

— Patients involved in early tests of a Russian coronavirus vaccine developed antibodies with “no serious adverse events”, according to research published in The Lancet, but experts said the trials were too small to prove safety and effectiveness.

Sept. 2

— Elderly scientists who helped develop Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have not reported adverse effects after being injected, the head of the research institute behind the inoculation told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

— Russia plans to begin the first mass deliveries of its coronavirus vaccine in September, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

— Greece and Poland have updated their coronavirus travel restrictions to allow Russian citizens to cross their borders for two-week periods as Russia’s virus caseload topped the one million milestone

Sept. 1

— Russia surpassed 1 million cases of Covid-19 nationwide, making it the fourth country after the United States, Brazil and India to reach the milestone. 

Aug. 31

— The head of a remote Siberian region has contracted the coronavirus a second time in what may be Russia’s first documented case of reinfection. 

Aug. 25

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has taken the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the news website reported, citing an unnamed source close to the mayor. Sobyanin’s press secretary neither confirmed nor denied the news.

Aug. 21

— Mexico will receive at least 2,000 doses of Russia’s candidate coronavirus vaccine as part of the injection’s Phase 3 clinical trials, Mexico’s foreign minister said.

Aug. 18

— Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said. He is at least the fifth Russian cabinet member to contract the virus.

Aug. 15

— Russia said that it has produced the first batch of its coronavirus vaccine, after President Vladimir Putin announced it had been first in the world to approve a vaccine.

Aug. 14

— Vietnam’s health ministry is looking to buy a bulk order of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, state media said, despite global skepticism over its effectiveness and safety.

— More than half of Russian doctors aren’t ready to get the country’s highly touted coronavirus vaccine, according to an online survey of more than 3,000 healthcare professionals obtained by the RBC news website.

Aug. 12

— The Brazilian state of Parana signed a deal to test and produce Russia’s new coronavirus vaccine, though officials stressed they would have to be sure of its safety and effectiveness first.

Aug. 11

— Russia has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin announced amid widespread concerns about the rapidly developed vaccine’s safety. 

— The vaccine’s registration certificate on the Health Ministry website notes that the vaccine, an injection solution called “Sputnik-V,” will enter civilian circulation on Jan. 1, 2021. 

Aug. 10

— The Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO) industry body that represents organizations conducting multinational clinical trials in Russia urged for more tests before registering its coronavirus vaccine. 

Aug. 8

— Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat said 11,917 people with the coronavirus died in June, compared to an official death toll of 4,880 for the same period. Rosstat said Covid-19 was confirmed or believed to be the main cause of death in 7,037 cases, was a contributing factor in 1,399 cases, but had no influence on the patient’s death in another 3,481 cases.

Aug. 7

— Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot has canceled flights to 87 international destinations for the rest of August due to the coronavirus situation. The list doesn’t include countries where Russia has already resumed or plans to resume flights: Britain, Turkey, Tanzania and Switzerland.

Aug. 5

— Moscow city government employees and healthcare workers are being offered early access to Russia’s coronavirus vaccine as the country rushes to approve what it says is the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, Bloomberg reported.

— Moscow’s theaters and concert halls will refuse entry to anyone with a temperature over 37 degrees Celsius or who shows symptoms of respiratory illness, the city’s culture department said.

Aug. 4

— The World Health Organization urged Russia to follow the established guidelines for producing safe and effective vaccines after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing COVID-19 jabs. 

— Moscow authorities have issued 5,000-ruble fines ($68) to more than 40,000 people for not wearing a mask in the metro since the requirement was first introduced, a city transport official said.

— Russia has begun delivering shipments of its coronavirus treatment drug Avifavir to South Africa, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said. It will soon begin delivering the drug to seven Latin American countries.

Aug. 3

— Russia said it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine next month and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.

Aug. 1

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the Russian capital has reached its “minimum” level of 650-700 new coronavirus cases per day. It won’t be possible for the numbers to go much lower as “millions of people move around the city,” he added.

July 31

— Authorities in Moscow have issued sweeping fines for violating face mask and glove requirements in recent weeks as the city looks to enforce coronavirus safety rules, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

July 29

— The head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund which is funding coronavirus vaccine research called Russia’s race to develop the world’s first coronavirus vaccine “a Sputnik moment,” comparing it to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite.

— Russia’s coronavirus vaccine could be administered to civilians as soon as Aug. 15, Interfax cited a source at the state-run Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology as saying. The source said the Health Ministry will likely register the vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trials, between Aug. 10-12.

July 28

— Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he was infected with an asymptomatic case of the coronavirus but has since recovered.

— The European Union won’t open its borders to Russian citizens until at least mid-August, the state-run TASS news agency reported, citing a source in one of the EU member states’ delegations. The EU is revising its “white list” of permitted travelers every two weeks.

July 27

— Russian schools across the country will re-open for the new school year on Sept. 1, Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. “All [coronavirus safety] requirements will be taken into account in order to protect our children and teachers as much as possible,” he said.

July 24

— Russia plans to restart international flights to Britain, Turkey and Tanzania on Aug. 1 more than four months after closing its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

July 23

— Russia plans to administer its experimental coronavirus vaccine on healthcare professionals next month before its clinical trials are completed, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

— Russia will waive visa fees for foreigners when the country’s consulates and diplomatic missions reopen abroad, the Foreign Ministry announced.

— Valentina Matviyenko, the head of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said current progress made it possible for the vaccine to enter mass production by the end of 2020. The vaccine’s creator Denis Logunov echoed her claim, telling Meduza that the Gamaleya institute expects to produce around 1 million shots per year by the end of 2020. 

July 20

— Russia has come through the coronavirus pandemic with far fewer infections and deaths than many other European countries, President Vladimir Putin said while visiting Moscow-annexed Crimea.

— Members of Russia’s ruling elite have been given access to an experimental coronavirus vaccine as early as April, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

July 19

— The Russian Defense Ministry said that it has completed the first clinical trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine on human volunteers. The trials showed that “the volunteers had the necessary antibodies to coronavirus and the components of the vaccine are safe and well-tolerated by humans,” a lead military scientist told Interfax.

— British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “absolutely confident” in allegations by the UK and its allies that Russia targeted labs conducting coronavirus research, branding the behavior “outrageous and reprehensible.”

July 17

— It would be impossible for Moscow, a city of more than 12 million, to hide the scale of its coronavirus outbreak because “we have a small town, we all live within a radius of 15 kilometers,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. “Everyone knows each other; they can call a friend’s doctor, an ambulance station, a clinic; they can ask friends about who’s sick or not sick.”

July 16

— Russia plans to conduct Phase 3 trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in the Middle East as well as at home, the head of Russia’s sovereign fund told Reuters.

— The mayor of Russia’s Arctic city of Norilsk has accused regional authorities of dramatically underreporting coronavirus cases and ignoring the scale of its outbreak, the news website reported.

— Russia called off its annual “Immortal Regiment” commemoration of the nation’s World War II dead in which thousands carry photographs of relatives through the streets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

July 15

— The Russian Defense Ministry said it has developed a “safe” coronavirus vaccine following clinical trials on a group of volunteers. 

— Starting July 16, Moscow will offer free coronavirus testing for all residents, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said.

— Belarus plans to re-open its border and resume transport connections with neighboring Russia within the next few days, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said following talks with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Belarus is one of the only countries which refused to impose a coronavirus lockdown.

July 14

— Russia and its international partners will produce than 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has said.

July 13

— Russia will no longer require foreigners without coronavirus to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival as the country looks to begin reopening to international travelers in the midst of the pandemic, according to a decree published Monday. 

— A medical university in Moscow says it has completed clinical trials of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine using human volunteers. Scientists said it could be distributed to patients as soon as next month.

July 10

— Russia will begin negotiations with other countries to restart international flights from July 15, deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova said. Flights will be permitted to a specific list of countries where cases of the coronavirus do not exceed 40 per 100,000 people, where the average daily increase in new cases is no higher than 1%, and where both countries agree to resume air connections.

— In May, 12,452 people with Covid-19 died in Russia, Russia’s state statistics agency Rosstat confirmed Friday. The coronavirus was determined to be the main cause of death in 7,444 cases. Russia counts only the latter in its official coronavirus death toll, which stands at 11,017.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced that wearing masks will no longer be required outdoors from July 13 as the number of new coronavirus cases has dwindled in the Russian capital in recent weeks.

— All beaches in Moscow will be closed due to the coronavirus, Russia’s consumer protection watchdog said. Locals had flocked to beaches along the Moscow River with the arrival of warmer weather.

— The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg will re-open to visitors on July 15.

July 8

— Migrant workers were almost twice as likely as Russians to lose their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, new research has found.

July 7

— Around half of Russia’s doctors believe that official statistics undercount the number of coronavirus cases in the country while one in 10 say the numbers are too high, the Vedomosti business newspaper reported.

July 5

— A Moscow election official infected with the coronavirus administered votes during Russia’s weeklong plebiscite on constitutional changes, the Dozhd television channel reported.

July 2

— Former Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev has recovered from the coronavirus two weeks after testing positive, his spokesman said.

July 1

— Russia is not among the 15 countries whose citizens can enter the European Union when it re-opens its borders Wednesday due to Russia’s coronavirus response. Russia could be added later to the EU’s list of “safe countries,” which the bloc will update every two weeks based on the safety situation in each state.

— Russia held a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms despite the coronavirus. The amendments, which were overwhelmingly approved, would allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his rule until 2036 by resetting his term limits.

June 30

— Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov has recovered from the coronavirus, he wrote on his Instagram. He said he had contracted the virus three months ago while being treated for leukemia in Berlin.

— The republic of Chechnya has canceled its two-week quarantine requirement for individuals entering the region, its head Ramzan Kadyrov said at a meeting as quoted by Interfax. People entering the region will still be required to present negative coronavirus test results or to take a test at the border.

June 29

— Russia’s coronavirus lockdown measures, combined with residents’ compliance with these restrictions, have helped prevent about 80,000 deaths from the virus, a study by Moscow’s Higher School of Economics said.

— Russia’s movie theaters will reopen on July 15, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said at a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The country’s cinemas had closed in late March due to the coronavirus.

— A second wave of coronavirus could hit major cities in European Russia as soon as two weeks from now, Mikhail Shchelkanov, who heads the Far Eastern Federal University’s school of biomedicine, told Ura.ruThe virus could also hit Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok through Chinese citizens returning home from other countries. 

— Vladimir Lenin’s tomb on Red Square will reopen to the public on July 1, the Federal Security Service said.

June 28

— President Vladimir Putin gets tested for the coronavirus “every three to four days,” he told the state Rossia 1 broadcaster in an interview that aired Sunday. All of the tests have come back negative, he added.

June 26

— About 20% of Moscow residents have coronavirus immunity, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said, citing a new study.

— Moscow isn’t ready to fully re-open its tourism sector, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

— Russia will ease its ban on foreigners imposed due to the coronavirus to allow foreign specialists to enter the country, a government decree says. Specialists who meet the government’s requirements will be allowed a single entry into the country.

June 24

— Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot has been secretly flying passengers abroad for nearly a month despite state-mandated grounded flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vedomosti business daily reported.

— Russia held its landmark Victory Day parade on Red Square after it was postponed from May 9 due to the coronavirus. Despite the pandemic, thousands of military personnel took part in the parade, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War II.

— Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Zheenbekov pulled out of attending the Victory Day parade in person after two members of his delegation tested positive for Covid-19 upon arriving in Moscow.

June 23

— Starting Tuesday, Moscow’s indoor dining, fitness clubs, swimming pools and public sports and recreation facilities will reopen after being closed for months due to the coronavirus.

— Russia’s state statistics agency published higher coronavirus death figures for April than previously reported because it receives more complete data than the national coronavirus crisis center, its chief has said.

— More than one-quarter of Russians know at least one person among their friends, family or aquaintances who has contracted the coronavirus, the RBC news website reported, citing research from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics.

— The Buddhist leader, or Supreme Lama, of the republic of Tyva, a remote region of Russia in southern Siberia, has died of coronavirus, the head of the region said.

June 22

— Most Russian regions will be able to start accepting tourists from other parts of the country starting July 1, Rostourism spokesperson Zarina Doguzova said.

— St. Petersburg has surpassed Moscow as having the country’s highest coronavirus mortality for the first time since the pandemic began. Twenty-nine people have died from coronavirus in St. Petersburg over the past 24 hours compared to 20 people in Moscow.

June 19

— Russia has canceled its high-profile Asia-focused economic forum in the Far East, organizers said. 

— Wedding registrations and ceremonies will resume in Moscow starting June 23, Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said, with sanitary and social distancing requirements still in place.

June 18

— Four hundred and eighty-nine doctors in Russia have died from the coronavirus, the head of Russia’s health watchdog said, or 6% of the country’s official death toll. The agency later backtracked, with its press service saying that the figure was “not official” and was based on “data circulating on the internet.”

— Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former president of close Russian ally and former Soviet republic Kazakhstan, has been diagnosed with coronavirus, his spokesperson said.

— Mikhail Ignatyev, the ousted head of the republic of Chuvashia who sued President Vladimir Putin last month over what he said was wrongful dismissal, has died from the coronavirus, Interfax reported, citing a source in the region’s administration. He had reportedly been hospitalized in St. Petersburg with pneumonia in both lungs in critical condition.

— The Russian military has started testing a coronavirus vaccine on 18 volunteers, the Defense Ministry said. On Wednesday, the Health Ministry said its coronavirus vaccine trials had begun with two groups of 38 volunteers.

June 17

— A special disinfection tunnel has been installed at President Vladimir Putin’s residence outside Moscow to protect him from the coronavirus, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

— Russian World War II veterans who attend next Wednesday’s Victory Day parade on Red Square won’t be required to wear masks, the head of Russia’s consumer protection watchdog said. Attendees will be spaced apart and all surfaces will be disinfected, Anna Popova said.

— The veterans are self-isolating outside Moscow in order to protect President Vladimir Putin from the coronavirus. 

— As of Wednesday, 20 cities had canceled or delayed their Victory Day parades due to the coronavirus.

— The Krasnodar region in southern Russia will begin easing restrictions on tourists starting June 21, including canceling a required two-week quarantine period for arriving tourists. 

June 16

— A 103-year-old coronavirus patient in St. Petersburg has recovered from the illness, the hospital where she was treated said. Valentina Martynovna is now at home with family and “feeling well,” the hospital said.

June 15

— Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg had the highest coronavirus mortality rate among all Russian cities in the month of April, according to a new analysis of official data.

— Russian officials have urged hotels to ban unmarried couples from checking in as a way to preventing the spread of coronavirus.

— President Vladimir Putin has extended the period in which foreign nationals whose Russian visas expired after March 15 can stay in the country. Foreigners already in Russia will now have their visas automatically extended through Sept. 15.

— Three more Russian cities, Penza, Chelyabinsk and Yakutsk, have canceled plans to hold Victory Day parades on June 24 due to the coronavirus, the Kommersant business daily reported. At least 10 other cities had canceled or postponed the parade last week.

— French President Emmanuel Macron didn’t receive an invitation to Russia’s rescheduled Victory Day parade on June 24 and will not attend as a result, a representative of the Elysee Palace told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. He was one of the world leaders expected to attend the landmark May 9 military parade on Red Square before it was postponed due to the coronavirus.

June 13

— Russia more than doubled its official coronavirus death toll for April to 2,712 after changing how it classifies fatalities.

June 12

— President Vladimir Putin made his first public appearance after weeks of coronavirus lockdown, saying at a ceremony to mark the Russia Day public holiday that an “absolute majority” of Russians back his controversial plan to change the Constitution.

June 11

— The first batch of Avifavir, the drug Russia approved to treat coronavirus patients, has been delivered to some Russian hospitals.

— At least 10 Russian cities have further postponed a landmark military parade meant to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II because of coronavirus fears, the news website reported.

— The head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program has questioned Russia’s low coronavirus death rate, saying it is “unusual that the number of deaths relative to the number of confirmed cases is very low.”

— The Kremlin doesn’t view Russia’s coronavirus mortality data as unusual and Rospotrebnadzor is ready to explain its numbers to the WHO, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

— Discrepancies in Russia’s coronavirus mortality data are caused by the fact that Moscow authorities haven’t sent the city’s final numbers to the federal headquarters, the RBC news website reported.

— Russian Railways will resume regular service of its Sapsan high-speed trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg starting June 24.

— More than 17% of Moscow residents have coronavirus antibodies, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said.

— Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg has a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients, the Fontanka news website reported as patients decried poor conditions at a hastily built temporary hospital.

June 10

— Almost 60% more people in Moscow have died in May than the city’s average toll for the past three years, the city health department said as questions continue to swirl around Russia’s low coronavirus death figures. 

Russia’s low coronavirus death toll is the result of the country’s “effective” healthcare system, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN. “Have you ever thought about the possibility of Russia’s health care system being more effective?” he said.

June 9

— Moscow ended its self-isolation orders — including its digital pass system and schedule system for taking walks outside — Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. The city has also released a schedule of which restrictions will be lifted over the next few weeks. 

— Russia confirmed 8,595 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 485,253.

— The city of Murmansk in Russia’s Arctic has opened a new coronavirus field hospital two weeks after breaking ground on construction.

June 8

— Russia will begin re-opening its borders to foreign nationals, starting with foreigners who need to come to Russia for medical treatment or to take care of their relatives, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

— Russia’s tourism sector is ready to begin gradually re-opening, Mishustin said at a video meeting with his deputies.

— Russia plans to resume international air travel on July 15 as it eyes a gradual return to normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic, the RBC news website and state-run TASS news agency reported.

— Russian carrier S7 Airlines plans to resume all domestic flights in June, the company said in a statement Monday.

June 4

— Russia plans to start clinical testing of a coronavirus vaccine on paid volunteers from the general public from next week, the director of the institute in charge of the study told The Moscow Times.

— A U.S. military plane carrying 150 donated ventilators to help coronavirus patients landed in Moscow in the second such delivery to Russia, the U.S. embassy said.

— President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military to set up a field hospital in the Zabaikalsky region he described as the latest coronavirus hotspot.

— Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg recorded almost 30% more deaths in May 2020 compared to its average May total over the past decade, official data said.

June 3

— One patient has died following a fire at St. Petersburg’s Botkin infectious diseases hospital, which is being used to treat coronavirus patients, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

— Russian hospitals will be able to resume planned medical procedures, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Hospitals which were converted to treat coronavirus patients may also return to their normal work depending on the coronavirus situation in their region.

June 2

— The Russian military will march asymptomatic troops and those who have developed immunity to coronavirus at its landmark parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II later this month, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

— Russia’s movie theaters could re-open as early as mid-July, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said during a government meeting, pointing to the stabilizing coronavirus situation. Theaters and concert halls will start re-opening in the fall, he added.

— Russia’s military said it has recruited dozens of volunteers among its ranks for two-month clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine set to begin Wednesday.

— Russian scientists are developing a coronavirus treatment involving ultraviolet light brought inside the body, a potentially dangerous method that has been promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

— Temporary hospitals erected in Moscow to treat coronavirus patients will remain in operation for at least a year, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova told state-run television. Five temporary hospitals have been constructed across the city with a total of 10,000 beds, she said.

June 1

— Russia will begin rolling out its first approved drug in the fight against coronavirus which it describes as “a game changer” starting next week, Reuters reported, citing the country’s sovereign wealth fund. 

— Russia’s public vote on a set of constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power through 2036 will take place on July 1, Putin said at a meeting with officials.

— A coronavirus patient who fell from a fifth-floor window at a Moscow hospital on Saturday was a police lieutenant colonel and a senior forensics expert in the Interior Ministry, the RBC news website reported, citing an unnamed Interior Ministry source. The woman survived the fall and is now in intensive care, RBC reported.

— Nikol Pashinyan, the prime minister of Armenia, has contracted the coronavirus, he announced.

May 29

— Russia confirmed 8,572 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 387,623.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has ordered to lift some of Moscow’s coronavirus restrictions starting June 1. All non-food shops and some service sector businesses will be able to re-open, he said. The city will also test lifting restrictions on walks outside using a schedule system for apartment buildings and all parks except for Zaryadye Park will re-open.

— Moscow health authorities have more than doubled the city’s April death count from coronavirus or related cases as questions continue to surround Russia’s comparatively low mortality rate.

— Russian authorities said that a small number of spectators would be allowed at stadiums when the country’s Premier League restarts its suspended season next month.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin added the media sector to the list of industries that qualify for government support during the coronavirus pandemic, entitling publishers and news outlets to tax payment deferrals, interest-free loans for paying employee salaries and more.

May 28

— Russia confirmed 8,371 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 379,051.

— Russia is reissuing invitations to international leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron to attend a massive military parade in Moscow on June 24, a Foreign Ministry official said.

— Moscow’s coronavirus restrictions will be in place until a vaccine is developed, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

— One in four Russians believe that the global coronavirus pandemic is made-up, according to a survey by Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) cited by the RBC news website.

May 27

— Russia confirmed 8,338 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 370,680.

— Russia will no longer include asymptomatic coronavirus patients in its daily count of new infections and deaths, the Health Ministry said. 

— Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said he is “healthy,” even demonstrating that his arms don’t have IV marks, after rumors that he was hospitalized with possible coronavirus.

— Russia announced that the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to postpone two international summits, the BRICS and SCO summits, which were set for St. Petersburg in July.

— Russia’s consumer protection watchdog said the capital is ready to enter the first phases of lifting its coronavirus restrictions.

— The Russian military announced it had opened a field hospital in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan where authorities are struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

May 26

— Russia confirmed 8,915 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 362,342.

— President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to hold its landmark parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II, which was originally scheduled for May 9, on June 24, pointing to what he said was a stabilization of the coronavirus in Russia.

— About 50% of Russians have abandoned their vacation plans due to the coronavirus, the ROMIR research agency said. The previous day, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that Russians should avoid traveling abroad this summer.

— Russia’s Health Ministry said that 101 Russian medics have died from the coronavirus. According to an unofficial tally kept by Russian and Belarussian doctors, 305 medics have died from the virus.

May 25

— Russia confirmed 8,946 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 353,427.

— President Vladimir Putin has signed a law allowing Russians to vote by mail or online in a move supporters say will prevent the spread of the coronavirus and opponents claim will open the door to manipulation.

— Putin congratulated Muslims across Russia on the Eid al-Fitr holiday, a feast marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. Authorities in Moscow and Russia’s Muslim-majority regions have canceled prayer gatherings and ordered mosques to remain closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

— A provincial leader outside Moscow was heard telling his subordinates to alter his region’s coronavirus data in an audio recording leaked Monday that he later confirmed to be authentic.

May 24

— President Vladimir Putin warned that a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic could hit Russia this fall as he noted that the country’s current outbreak is stabilizing.

— Russia confirmed 8,599 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 344,481. Russia has the third-highest number of infections behind the United States and Brazil, but the number of new cases has fallen below 10,000 for nine days in a row.

— Russia is expected this month to register a spike in mortality rates amid the coronavirus epidemic, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said.

Russia has carried out its first test of a coronavirus vaccine on humans, the head of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology said. The vaccine was tested on the center’s own employees and no side effects were reportedly found.

May 22

— One in three Russian doctors who treat coronavirus patients have been told to change how they report cases, according to a survey cited by the Meduza news website amid questions over Russia’s low Covid-19 death toll.

— One out of seven healthy Russians may have been infected with the coronavirus, according to a Moscow-based private lab analysis of voluntary testing published Friday.

— Starting May 25, Moscow’s public registry services will re-open and car-sharing will resume, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. All other lockdown restrictions remain in place.

— Moscow has managed to avoid the “worst-case scenario” with the coronavirus, Sobyanin said, but stressed that it’s necessary to maintain current lockdown measures.

— People who violate lockdown orders in the Moscow region surrounding the capital will be punished with up to 100 hours of community service in hospitals, the region’s security services said.

May 21

— Russia confirmed 8,849 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 317,554.

— Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been hospitalized in Moscow with a suspected coronavirus infection, Interfax reported, citing an unnamed source in Moscow’s medical services.

— A U.S. military plane carrying dozens of donated American ventilators touched down in Moscow, with the precious cargo ready to be sent to a hospital treating coronavirus patients.

— At least 9,479 Russian medical workers have been infected with the coronavirus in the past month and more than 70 have died, the Associated Press reported, citing official statements and news reports in more than 70 Russian regions. Healthcare workers say the death toll is much higher.

May 20

— Russia confirmed 8,764 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 308,705 and marking the lowest daily increase since May 1.

— Moscow’s coronavirus death rate will be “significantly” higher in May than it was in April, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin warned.

May 19

— Russia confirmed 9,263 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 299,941. 

— Russian medics are 16 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than healthcare professionals in countries with similarly high Covid-19 numbers, the Mediazona news website reported.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has resumed his official duties nearly three weeks after first announcing that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus and naming an acting prime minister.

— The Saratov region has reinstated its ban on walks and outdoor activities a week after easing the restriction due to the region’s high growth rate in new coronavirus cases, its vice governor said. 

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the situation with the coronavirus in Moscow is “still far from ideal.” 

— Government offices in Moscow will reopen next week, and some clinics will be allowed to provide planned medical treatments. Sobyanin said that it was still too soon to think about reopening other parts of the capital such as shopping centers or hairdressers.

— Moscow authorities announced plans to double testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May.

— Moscow residents will be allowed to go outside to walk or exercise only when the number of new daily infections reaches the “tens or hundreds, not thousands,” Sobyanin added. Moscow reported 3,545 new cases.

— Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg has banned residents from attending funeral services regardless of the cause of death of the deceased, the news website reported.

May 18

— Russia confirmed 8,926 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 290,678 and signaling a potential slowdown in new cases.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the growth in new coronavirus cases has been stopped in Russia.

— Russia’s national coronavirus crisis center has stopped updating the latest Covid-19 death counts in at least two Siberian regions while the regions have published new numbers, the news website reported.

— Twenty-seven of Russia’s 85 regions are ready to start gradually easing coronavirus restrictions, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

— President Vladimir Putin said the coronavirus situation in Dagestan required urgent attention after a top official said hundreds of people in the region might have died from the virus.

— Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has recommended that Russian airlines fill their flights by no more than 50% in order to adequately space passengers apart from each other.

— Russia’s low coronavirus death toll compared to other countries is a result of the population’s herd immunity, the head of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg said.

May 17

— Russia confirmed 9,709 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 281,752. 

— A baby was born with the coronavirus in Russia’s Caucasus region of North Ossetia, health officials were quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as saying, to a mother who is also infected. The birth in the city of Beslan follows one in mid-April in Peru, which health officials there said was the second known case of a Covid-19 positive newborn worldwide.

— The growth of new cases in Russia is stabilizing, Anna Popova, the head of public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said, as the daily tally fell under 10,000 for the third day this week. “We’ve moved towards the level of stability that we’ve all been waiting for .. I would say that as of today, we have halted the growth,” she told the state television channel Rossiya 1.

— More than 13,000 people in Dagestan have contracted the coronavirus or community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), the region’s health minister said. A total of 657 people have died from Covid-19 or CAP, including 40 doctors, he added. According to official statistics, there have been 3,371 coronavirus infections and just 29 deaths from Covid-19 in the region.

— Russia confirmed 9,709 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 281,752.

May 16

— Russia confirmed 9,200 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 272,043 and signaling a potential slowing of new cases.

May 15

— Russia confirmed 10,598 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 262,843.

— The Russian Premier League’s season will resume June 21, the Russian Football Union (RFU) said Friday. The matches, which have been suspended since March 17, will be held without spectators.

— Yandex will end its free coronavirus testing program, the tech giant said, adding that it has carried out 20,000 of the free tests since the program began on April 20.

May 14

— Russia confirmed 9,974 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 252,245.

— Clinics in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s coronavirus epidemic, will begin mass random testing of residents for coronavirus antibodies on Friday, the mayor said.

— President Vladimir Putin said the coronavirus outbreak was easing in Russia, after daily confirmed cases dropped back below 10,000. 

“Over the past weeks, all our efforts have been aimed first and foremost at pushing back against the coronavirus epidemic,” Putin said in a televised videoconference with scientists and officials. “The situation is changing now, and this gives us an opportunity to once again focus on our current and long-term agenda.”

— Education and Science Minister Valery Falkov was diagnosed with coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting, making him the fourth minister to catch the virus. During the meeting, Falkov said he has already recovered and returned to work.

— Clinics in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s coronavirus epidemic, will begin mass random testing of residents for coronavirus antibodies on Friday, the mayor said. The free and voluntary testing will “show the real picture” of the epidemic’s stage, since many people may have had the virus without knowing it, Sergei Sobyanin told state television.

“Every three days we will send out 70,000 invitations to Moscow residents” to have their blood drawn at clinics, he said.

May 13

— Russia confirmed 10,028 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 242,271.

— More than 60% of deaths among Moscow’s coronavirus patients are not being counted toward the city’s official virus death toll, city health officials said.

— Russian low-cost airline Pobeda will resume its domestic flights on June 1 after suspending all its flights in late March, the RBC news website reported.

— Russia’s oldest coronavirus patient, 100-year-old Pelageya Poyarkova, has fully recovered from the illness, the Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA) said Wednesday.

— Russia might not see its pre-coronavirus levels of tourism return until January 2021, officials said Tuesday.

— State Duma deputy Oksana Pushkina has tested positive for the coronavirus, she said.

— Nearly 1,500 doctors and healthcare workers in St. Petersburg have been infected with coronavirus since the epidemic began, Governor Alexander Beglov said.

May 12

— Russia confirmed 10,899 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 232,243.

— President Vladimir Putin has eased Russia’s “non-working” period imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus even as Russia emerges as Europe’s new coronavirus hotspot. 

— Five people died in a fire in a hospital for coronavirus patients in Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg, with some victims attached to ventilators, officials said.

— President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has been hospitalized with coronavirus, he told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday.

— Starting today, Moscow residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves in all public places.

— Russian pharmacy chains are reporting shortages in thermometers, according to the Kommersant business daily.

May 11

— Russia confirmed 11,656 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 221,344 and marking a new one-day record increase.

— Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, has extended its coronvirus lockdown until May 31 and will require its residents to wear face masks and gloves in public starting May 12.

— Russia has conducted more than 5.6 million coronavirus tests, its state consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said, or about 188,000 tests per day.

May 10

— Russia confirmed 11,012 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 209,688.

May 9

— Russia confirmed 10,817 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 198,676.

— President Vladimir Putin called for Russians to stand together on Saturday as the country marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on lockdown over the virus. “We know and firmly believe that we are invincible when we stand together,” Putin said in a televised speech after plans for a grand Victory Day military parade in Red Square had to be postponed because of the pandemic.

— Moscow’s coronavirus lockdown has been extended until May 31, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Starting May 12, Moscow residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves in all public places and transport, Sobyanin said.

— One person died after a fire broke out in a hospital treating coronavirus patients in northern Moscow, forcing an evacuation, emergencies officials said.

May 8

Russia confirmed 10,699 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 187,859. Russia is now the fifth most-affected country in terms of infections, surpassing Germany and France on Thursday.

— Hundreds of thousands of Moscow’s rapid antibody tests labeled as Dutch-made are unreliable at detecting the coronavirus in its early stages, meaning patients who receive false negatives could potentially infect others, a new investigation has said.

May 7

— Russia confirmed 11,231 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 177,160 and marking a new one-day record rise in infections.

— The real number of coronavirus infections in Moscow is likely around 300,000, Sobyanin said. Officially, the city has 92,676 cases.

— Leonid Fedun, the billionaire energy tycoon who co-founded Lukoil and owns FC Spartak Moscow, has been hospitalized with coronavirus.

May 6

— Russia confirmed 10,559 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 165,929. 

— Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the third Russian cabinet official to become infected with the virus after construction minister Vladimir Yakushev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. 

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said stay-at-home restrictions would remain in place beyond May 12, but companies involved in industry and construction would be allowed to return to work that day.

— Moscow residents could be required to wear face masks in all public spaces as early as next week, the Kommersant business daily reported. 

— Russian prosecutors have shot down online conspiracy theories about the coronavirus’ manmade origins as fake, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement Wednesday. 

— Moscow has conducted 1 million coronavirus tests since the start of its outbreak, the city’s coronavirus task force said, citing deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova. More than 40,000 tests are carried out daily. Nationwide, 4.4 million tests have been carried out.

May 5

— Russia confirmed 10,102 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 155,370. 

— Three Russian journalists have died from the coronavirus, the head of Russia’s Journalists Union told Interfax. More than 100 have been hospitalized with the virus and more than 500 are self-isolating at home under the supervision of health services.

— Russia has sent medical research supplies and two mobile laboratories to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help the African country fight the coronavirus, Interfax reported.

May 4

— Russia confirmed 10,581 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 145,268. 

— Authorities in St. Petersburg have pledged to pay compensation to doctors who become infected with the coronavirus — but only after an investigation establishes their level of responsibility for getting it, according to newly adopted rules.

— Bosnia denied entry to a team of 24 Russian military medical experts who had come to the Balkan country to carry out decontamination work. 

— Starting May 8, all individuals flying from Moscow to Beijing will be required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test received 120 hours or less before departure.

— Russia has removed its ban on the export of medical masks and respirators, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told the state-run Rossia 1 news channel. He said there is no shortage of masks or other sanitary products in Russian pharmacies.

— The Russian National Guard said it is using drones and a helicopter to enforce self-isolation rules in Moscow and the Moscow region over the May holidays. The drones and helicopter will send information about violations to officers on the ground, who will then issue fines to violators.

May 3

— Russia confirmed 10,633 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 134,687 and marking a new one-day record increase.

May 2

— Russia confirmed 9,623 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 124,054 and marking a new one-day record increase. 

— About 2% of Moscow residents  or more than 250,000 people  have the coronavirus, the mayor of the Russian capital said on Saturday, citing test results. Around 2,000 Moscow doctors have either recovered from or are currently ill with Covid-19, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

May 1

— Russia confirmed 7,933 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 114,431 and marking a new one-day record increase. 

— Half of Moscow’s coronavirus patients in serious condition have tested negative for the virus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Thursday amid questions over the accuracy of Russia’s tests.

— Moscow is setting up 44 temporary hospitals which will treat up to 10,000 coronavirus patients, deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov said.

April 30

— Russia confirmed 7,099 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 106,498 and marking a new one-day record increase.

— Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has been diagnosed with coronavirus, he said during a video meeting with President Vladimir Putin broadcast on the state-run Rossiya 24 television channel Thursday.

— More than 300 members of the National Guard have contracted coronavirus, the defense force said.

— Residents of the Moscow region will soon be required to wear masks in public places, the governor of the region surrounding the capital said.

— The opening of Russia’s new Orthodox mega-cathedral dedicated to the Armed Forces has been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus, Interfax reported. The cathedral was originally scheduled to open to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis on May 9.

April 29

— Russia confirmed 5,841 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 99,399. 

— More than 1,000 Russian military personnel have tested positive for coronavirus, the Defense Ministry said.

— Moscow will start constructing temporary hospitals that will hold a total of 10,000 beds for coronavirus patients, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

— Russia will allow its nationals who hold second passports to leave the country amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a government decree issued Wednesday.

— Konstantin Malofeyev, the billionaire often referred to as Russia’s “Orthodox tycoon,” said he has contracted the coronavirus.

— Russia has indefinitely extended its entry ban for foreigners, which was originally set to end May 1, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said. 

— A group suspected of attempting to sell 100 counterfeit ventilators used to treat coronavirus patients have been detained after an armed confrontation outside Moscow, news outlets reported Wednesday.

April 28

— Russia confirmed 6,411 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 93,558 and marking a new one-day record increase.

— President Vladimir Putin has extended the national “non-working” month through May 11 as Russia continued to see sharp daily rises in new coronavirus infections in recent days. Moscow’s coronavirus lockdown has also been extended until May 11.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has ordered the federal consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor to draft a coronavirus lockdown exit strategy for the country by Wednesday.

— More than 270 Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) workers have contracted the coronavirus, the Russian prison authority said. Its press service said that 40 inmates have tested positive for the virus nationwide.

— A priest at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius monastery in Sergiev Posad who was diagnosed with coronavirus died on Sunday two days after he escaped from the hospital and attempted to take his own life, the monastery said. Following media reports that the priest had set himself on fire, Russian Orthodox Church archpriest Leonid Kalinin told the Govorit Moskva radio station that the 90% of the priest’s body was covered in burns.

April 27

— Russia confirmed 6,198 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 87,147. Russia has now surpassed China to become the world’s ninth most-affected country amid the pandemic.

— Russian doctors mistrustful of official coronavirus data have launched an unofficial list of their colleagues who have died from the virus.

— The republic of Karelia in northern Russia will create an interactive map of the places where confirmed coronavirus patients in the region live, including their street names and house numbers, in order for the region’s residents to avoid these places, its head Artur Parfenchikov wrote.

— The Immortal Regiment, an annual tradition in which millions of people in Russia parade with portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, will take place in an online video broadcast this year as the coronavirus has canceled Victory Day events.

— The head of a Siberian hospital repurposed for coronavirus patients is in critical condition after she fell from the hospital building following a conference call with health officials, local media reported Saturday. 

— The Nizhny Novgorod region will ban entry into the region unless one has an emergency work permit or proof of residence there, its governor said. The region has Russia’s fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases, after Moscow, the Moscow region and St. Petersburg.

— Nearly 50 employees at the Mariinsky Hospital in St. Petersburg have tested positive for coronavirus, the local news website reported. Starting Monday, the hospital will only treat patients with coronavirus, with all other patients transferred to other hospitals.

— At least 874 Russian troops tested positive for Covid-19 between March and April 26, 19 of whom are in critical or serious condition, the Defense Ministry said.

April 26

— Russia confirmed 6,361 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 80,949 and marking the highest one-day increase so far. Overall, 747 people have been killed by the virus.

— In St. Petersburg, four nurses have died of coronavirus this month, officials confirmed.

April 25

Two Russian lawmakers — Leonid Kalashnikov and Dmitry Novikov, both of the Communist Party — have been infected with the coronavirus and are being treated in hospital. They are the first positive Covid-19 cases to be confirmed from among Russia’s 450-seat State Duma.

April 24

— Authorities in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad will end the region’s coronavirus lockdown for most residents starting April 29, Governor Anton Alikhanov said, making it the first Russian region to do so. Nonessential businesses will re-open on April 29 and salons and hairdressers will re-open on May 4. All residents will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing in public.

— Moscow authorities will not ease the city’s self-isolation orders during the May holidays which include Labor Day and Victory Day, the mayor’s office said. Meanwhile, the head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog argued self-isolation should be extended by at least another two weeks, until the middle of May.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he has asked Russia’s Health Ministry and Education Ministry to prepare fourth- and fifth-year medical students to help treat coronavirus patients.

— More than 40% of Moscow’s health system is now being used in the city’s fight against coronavirus, deputy mayor for social development Anastasia Rakova said.

— All of Moscow’s doctors and nurses will take an express test to detect the presence of coronavirus antibodies and test their immunity to the virus, Rakova told reporters.

April 23

— Vladislav Filev, the owner of Russian carrier S7 Airlines, has predicted that international air traffic which has been largely halted due to the pandemic will resume in April 2021.

— Russia will temporarily suspend deportations of foreigners over the next two months due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.

— More than 100,000 pregnant women will be unable to undergo medical abortions in Moscow because of restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak, the women’s rights organization (“No to Violence”) Center has said.

— Russia’s Labor Ministry has ordered mental health facilities and nursing homes to quarantine residents and employees for two weeks in a move to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

— Staff in the neurological department of the Lyubertsy Regional Hospital near Moscow have asked the FSB to investigate the hospital’s administration. According to the staffers, 52 doctors have been infected with coronavirus due to management’s actions.

— A hospital in the Chelyabinsk region city of Zlatoust has been quarantined after 44 patients and staff became infected with coronavirus, the region’s governor said. He added that the outbreak happened as a result of “a procedural error in providing medical assistance to one of the patients.”

April 22

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin warned that the regions’ hospitals risk running out of beds within three to four weeks at current rates of infection.

— At least 21 Russian regions have requested digital travel passes a week after coronavirus-hit Moscow enacted its system to enforce lockdown measures and slow the deadly outbreak, the Communications and Press Ministry said Wednesday.

— The lives of thousands of Russian patients with rare diseases are in danger because the country’s hospitals are being repurposed to address the coronavirus outbreak, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday.

— The authors of Russia’s delayed domestic abuse law have asked the government to take emergency steps to protect victims during the coronavirus quarantine, the RBC news website reported.

— Russia’s mosques will close during the holy month of Ramadan, Ravil Gainutdin, the chairman of the Council of Muftis which represents Russia’s Muslim community, said on live television.

— The Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East has become the third region to require residents to wear face masks in public, following the Amur region and the republic of Tatarstan.

April 21

— A new Moscow hospital built in a little over a month to treat coronavirus patients has admitted its first 20 patients, the Moscow mayor’s office said as the Russian capital continues to battle an onslaught of new cases.

— A number of unidentified African countries have asked Russia to assist them in the fight against coronavirus, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

— Authorities in Moscow will start monitoring the movements of all people showing coronavirus symptoms using their cellphone geolocation data. The city was already tracking the movements of confirmed coronavirus patients who are self-isolating at home.

— The rector of Moscow’s Yelokhovo Cathedral, Archpriest Alexander Ageykin, has reportedly died from coronavirus. His death marks the highest-level coronavirus-related death within the Russian Orthodox Church.

April 20

— The Russian military will quarantine everyone involved in rehearsals for Russia’s postponed Victory Day Parade, the Defense Ministry said following reports that some participants have tested positive for the coronavirus.

—Around 500 demonstrators gathered in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz to protest against job losses and lack of information about the coronavirus outbreak, the MBKh News website reported Monday.

— Russians should stop coming to Crimea during the coronavirus pandemic, its Moscow-backed leader said Monday after a surge in traffic to the annexed peninsula this weekend.

— Russia has extended visas and other temporary residence permits for foreigners from March 15 to June 15 during the coronavirus pandemic that has shut national borders around the world. Putin’s act bans authorities from canceling visas and work permits, as well as from deporting and denying people refugee and temporary asylum status until June 15.

— Russia says it has so far carried out over 2 million tests nationwide.

— Dozens of patients and staff have been infected with the coronavirus at a psychiatric hospital in Russia’s northwestern Arkhangelsk region.

— More than half of 149 overall Covid-19 cases in central Russia’s Sverdlovsk region are concentrated in one hospital in the regional capital of Yekaterinburg, governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev said. City hospital No. 1 was placed under quarantine after 78 of its doctors and patients tested positive for the virus, Kuyvashev said on social media. Most of them are asymptomatic, he added, while one patient is in critical condition.

April 19

— Millions of Russians celebrated Orthodox Easter amid the coronavirus pandemic. Russian Patriarch Kirill, who leads 150 million believers, held a service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Church without worshippers. President Vladimir Putin did not go to a service as usual but visited a chapel at his country residence.

April 17

— President Vladimir Putin postponed a landmark military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II.

— Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak, will begin treating respiratory infections as Covid-19 as the disease shows no signs of slowing down, a senior city official has said.

— The Russian government has authorized hospitals to treat coronavirus patients with the untested Chinese malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which studies have linked to deadly side effects.

— Russian national carrier Aeroflot has closed ticket sales for all international flights until Aug. 1, the Kommersant business daily reported.

— About half of Russia’s coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, the head of consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

— St. Petersburg can expect to see anywhere from 40,000 to 120,000 coronavirus cases by June depending on how closely residents follow lockdown orders, Alexei Borovkov, a member of the city’s coronavirus task force, has said. The city has 1,507 confirmed cases so far.

— Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has advised against wearing face masks for regular trips outside, recommending their use only in crowded places, on public transport or when caring for a sick person.

April 16

— Russian tech giant Yandex will start delivering coronavirus tests to the homes of Moscow residents aged 65 and older. The first 10,000 tests will be delivered at no cost, the company said, and the test delivery service will later be expanded to all age groups.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree to provide the city’s doctors with free taxi rides to and from work, as well as free hotel accommodation, during the coronavirus outbreak.

— Moscow authorities said they have switched to random checks of public transit passengers’ quarantine passes rather than checking each person’s pass after large queues formed outside metro stations during rush hour Wednesday.

 President Vladimir Putin believes the global coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity for his country to work together with the United States, the Kremlin said. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered to send ventilators to Russia.

— One-third of all coronavirus infections in the Leningrad region are concentrated in a crowded hostel that houses migrant workers involved in construction at an IKEA-owned shopping mall, local media reported.

April 15

— Russian officials denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to cut Washington’s funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov calling the move a “very selfish approach” and “very disturbing.”

— President Vladimir Putin announced a new package of measures to support Russia’s businesses hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

— Muscovites complained of large queues outside metro stations and severe traffic jams on the first day of the city’s mandatory digital lockdown passes, prompting concern that the coronavirus could spread further.

— Russia’s coronavirus information center will be headed by doctor and television presenter Alexander Myasnikov, BBC Russia reported. Myasnikov previously predicted that it would be “impossible” for the virus to spread to Russia.

— The Murmansk region will use electronic bracelets to monitor the movements of coronavirus patients self-isolating at home and people suspected of having the coronavirus, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

— The head of Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital has recovered from the virus two weeks after he tested positive.

April 14

— Moscow could face a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients in the next two to three weeks, the city’s health department warned. It added that an additional 24 hospitals will be converted to accommodate coronavirus patients, bringing the total number of beds to 21,000. Moscow has 13,002 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.

— Moscow rejected 900,000 applications for digital lockdown passes in the passes’ first day of operation due to residents entering incorrect or inaccurate information, the city’s coronavirus response center said. The city issued 3.2 million passes for residents to leave their homes on Monday.

— Nine doctors at a hospital in the Moscow region have been infected with coronavirus, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. Doctors there had complained that the hospital doesn’t isolate patients suspected of having coronavirus and that there’s a shortage of personal protective equipment.

— A group of liberal Russian economists called on the government to send cash payments to the public in order to avoid an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, the RBC news website reported.

— Moscow traffic police will start checking all cars entering the city for digital lockdown passes starting Wednesday.

April 13

— Moscow introduced its digital pass system to allow residents to leave their homes this week. Traffic police have also been deployed at all city entry points to control movement and ask drivers why they’re entering the Russian capital during the coronavirus lockdown, according to state media.

— China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province has tightened its border controls to prevent new coronavirus infections from neighboring Russia, Bloomberg reported. A growing number of Chinese nationals have returned from Russia with the virus, threatening a new outbreak in the country where the pandemic originated.

— The Russian Orthodox Church’s St. Petersburg diocese has ordered the city’s cathedrals to close their Holy Week and Easter services to the public and broadcast services online.

— Russian Railways will indefinitely suspend free long-distance rail travel for World War II veterans to encourage over-65s to stay home. The free travel offer had been introduced ahead of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day in May.

— More than 500 Russian writers, publishers and bookstores have signed an open letter asking the government to provide support to the book industry after the coronavirus lockdown shuttered bookstores across the country.

April 12

— More than half of China’s coronavirus infections reported on Sunday originated from a Russian flight to Shanghai the day before, a potential sign of the severity of Russia’s outbreak, Bloomberg reported. So far this month, China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province has reported more than 100 infections imported from Russia through its land borders.

April 10

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced additional lockdown measures from April 13-19 in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with all nonessential business and activity suspended. Grocery stores and pharmacies will stay open, and only the government, hospitals, protective gear manufacturers and the defense sector will continue to work. All construction and maintenance work is suspended, as are car-sharing services.

— In a statement Friday, Sobyanin also said that Moscow will gradually introduce a digital pass system to enforce lockdown rules starting April 14. 

— Moscow’s health department has warned the city’s clinics that many coronavirus tests return false negative results, the Kommersant business daily reported.

— President Vladimir Putin spoke with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump for the third time in two weeks, discussing the coronavirus pandemic and global oil prices.

— Moscow’s hospitals and ambulance service are working at peak capacity after a sharp rise in those hospitalized with serious coronavirus complications, a senior city official said Friday.

— A detention center east of Moscow has been placed under lockdown after the alleged death of one of its inspectors from coronavirus, the Mash Telegram channel reported.

— The Russian Orthodox Church has advised worshippers to pray at home during the Holy Week and Easter, the Church’s most important holidays.

April 9

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has temporarily banned Muscovites from visiting the city’s cemeteries except for those attending funerals.

— The health minister of Russia’s northwestern republic of Komi has resigned after the remote region became one of the country’s hotspots for the coronavirus.

— Moscow is planning to track foreign tourists’ movements through smartphone geolocation for coronavirus prevention after Russia reopens its national borders, the Kommersant business daily reported.

— Coronavirus patients in Moscow have started to receive blood plasma transfusions from recovered patients, the city’s deputy mayor for social development said. Blood plasma from coronavirus survivors has been found to help current patients recover from the virus.

— Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnazdor said that more than 1 million coronavirus tests have been carried out across the country.

April 8

— Putin has ordered the government to automatically renew documents for Russian citizens, including passports and driver’s licenses, for as long as the coronavirus situation persists. Speaking at a televised conference, he also ordered the government to create a business support program within five days and said doctors will receive a monthly bonus while dealing with the pandemic.

— Moscow police will now be able to directly issue fines to residents who violate lockdown orders, according to an agreement between the Interior Ministry and the city government.

— Russia has now sent coronavirus test kits to more than 30 countries, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a meeting of the government’s coronavirus task force.

— Russian Railways will reduce the number of Sapsan high-speed trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg to four per day in each direction amid reduced demand due to the coronavirus.

— The airport in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, will require all passengers arriving from Moscow to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test starting April 11.

— Moscow City Duma deputy Mikhail Timonov has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. He had attended city council meetings as recently as April 1, when it voted to impose fines on Muscovites who violate lockdown orders.

April 7

— The head of a top Russian research center told Putin that his lab was ready to start human trials of experimental coronavirus vaccines in June.

— Putin has asked health experts whether it would be possible to end Russia’s paid “non-working” period sooner than planned. He originally declared a “non-working” week from March 28 to April 5, then extended the period until April 30. During the meeting, he added that the peak of the coronavirus epidemic in Russia hasn’t passed yet.

— The head doctor at Moscow’s Davydovsky hospital, Yelena Vasiliyeva, has tested positive for coronavirus, the Mash Telegram channel reported. Because she continued to work and attend conferences while waiting for the test results, more than 500 patients and doctors who were in contact with her are now self-quarantining and getting tested for the virus.

— Russia’s largest business associations have called on the government to introduce a sweeping package of measures to support employers amid the coronavirus lockdown. In a letter to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, firms asked the government to cover two-thirds of employees’ salaries for those who cannot work due to the shutdown. 

— Russia has conducted more than 795,000 coronavirus tests so far, the federal consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

April 6

— Russia will send $1 million to the World Health Organization to help in the fight against coronavirus, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

— Three Russian Orthodox priests in Moscow have been hospitalized with coronavirus, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported. 

— It is “unacceptable” for Russia’s regions to close their borders with other regions of the country, Mishustin said at a meeting with regional envoys after the republic of Chechnya sealed off its borders. The Kremlin also called such measures “excessive.”

— Russia’s health watchdog Rosdravnadzor has developed an “express” coronavirus test that can test at 94% accuracy within 40 minutes, the Industry and Trade Ministry said.

— Three regions of Russia — the Irkutsk region, Tomsk region and Krasnoyarsk region — have begun ordering all people arriving from Moscow and St. Petersburg to self-isolate for two weeks in a move to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

April 3

— President Vladimir Putin announced an extension of the nationwide “non-working week” until April 30 after the country registered a sharp increase in coronavirus cases. He added that he would delegate the decisionmaking power on anti-coronavirus measures to regional authorities.

— Russia will halt flights returning its nationals from abroad after midnight Saturday, Interfax cited an unnamed source at an unnamed airline as saying. Domodedovo, one of Moscow’s four international airports, has shut down its international flights board, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

— Russia has sent military medics and equipment to Serbia, the latest country Moscow is helping to fight the global coronavirus pandemic as it also flexes its soft power muscles.

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that the city will hold off on introducing a QR code pass system to enforce movements under quarantine and extended the quarantine until May 1. He said city authorities would reconsider implementing the system if the coronavirus situation worsens or the number of self-isolation violations rises.

— Moscow residents may now only ride together in a private vehicle if they live at the same address, Moscow City Duma speaker Alexei Shaposhnikov said. 

— Anastasia Vasiliyeva, the head of the Doctors’ Alliance, an independent trade union linked to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, was detained overnight in the Nizhny Novgorod region. She and other members of the union were there to donate protective gear to doctors fighting the coronavirus, the union tweeted.

April 2

— Sobyanin signed a law imposing fines on Muscovites found to be violating the city’s self-isolation orders. Individuals will be fined up to 4,000 rubles ($50) for first-time offenses and up to 5,000 rubles ($63) for repeat offenses. Businesses will be fined up to 40,000 rubles ($500) for violating the order. Legal entities will be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($3,800) for first-time offenses and up to 500,000 rubles ($6,300) for repeat offenses.

— The United States purchased medical supplies from Russia to battle the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the State Department said, contradicting the Kremlin’s description of the shipment as humanitarian aid.

— The Nizhny Novgorod region has launched a QR code pass system to allow residents to leave their homes for essential reasons. Moscow has announced it is developing a similar pass system for its 12 million residents but hasn’t launched it yet.

— One of Moscow’s leading cancer hospitals, the Blokhin Cancer Center, has stopped admitting patients to chemotherapy sessions after one of the department’s medics tested positive for coronavirus. All of the chemotherapy department’s employees have been quarantined and its patients are under special supervision, the hospital said.

April 1

— Putin signed legislation imposing severe punishment — including up to five years in prison — for people convicted of spreading false information about the coronavirus. The legislation also imposes punishments for people breaking coronavirus quarantine rules, including up to seven years in prison.

— Russia has earmarked almost $18 billion to battle the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told Putin during a televised video conference.

— Moscow authorities have developed a QR code system to allow residents to leave their homes as well as a smartphone app to monitor coronavirus patients’ movement in self-isolation, the city’s IT chief said Wednesday after tech experts raised privacy questions.

— President Vladimir Putin is now practicing social distancing with everyone and doesn’t shake hands, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He has also started holding meetings remotely.

— A nurse at a police hospital in the Lipetsk region has potentially infected eight of her colleagues with the coronavirus after she returned to work with symptoms instead of self-isolating, the Kommersant business daily reported. Lipetsk region governor Igor Artamonov condemned what he said was “criminal negligence” in a statement.

— Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, the capital’s main transport hub, has closed a third terminal due to reduced air traffic caused by the coronavirus, leaving three terminals open.

— Russia will extend its suspension of football matches in the face of the coronavirus pandemic until May 31, the Russian football association (RFS) said.

— Several regions of Russia have imposed limits on alcohol sales during their self-isolation regimes. Some cities in Siberia’s republic of Sakha, including Yakutsk, have banned the sale of alcohol altogether.

— Russia’s consumer protection watchdog has ordered quotas on the number of Russians being returned from abroad per day, the Kommersant business daily reported, a move that the Foreign Ministry said “immediately complicated, and in some places paralyzed, the process of returning” the approximately 35,000 Russians seeking to return.

March 31

— Denis Protsenko, the head doctor at the infectious diseases hospital treating Moscow’s coronavirus patients, has tested positive with the virus, the state-run Rossia 24 television station reported. He was photographed shaking hands with President Vladimir Putin six days ago.

— A Russian plane carrying medical equipment and protective gear has departed for the coronavirus-hit United States. U.S. President Donald Trump “accepted this humanitarian aid with gratitude,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

— The Justice Ministry has proposed suspending registrations of marriage and divorce in Russia until at least June 1 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

March 30

— Moscow has enacted a citywide quarantine from Monday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said as the city’s number of coronavirus cases surpassed 1,000 over the weekend. Moscow residents will only be allowed to leave their homes to seek emergency medical care, shop for food or medicine, go to work, walk pets or take out the garbage.

— Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg announced stay-at-home orders for their residents following Moscow’s quarantine.

— In televised comments on state television, President Vladimir Putin said decisive measures by Russia had helped win it time in its battle to contain the coronavirus and to prevent an explosive growth in cases, but that it was vital authorities now used that time effectively. 

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked Russia’s regional governors to consider imposing the same restrictions on movement to halt the spread of the coronavirus that have been imposed in Moscow, the state-run RIA news agency reported.

— The makeshift memorial to opposition politician Boris Nemtsov at the site near the Kremlin where he was gunned down in 2015 has been abandoned for the first time since his death due to Moscow’s stay-at-home order, the activists who had maintained a 24/7 watch at the memorial said.

— Several regions of Russia have enacted region-wide stay-at-home orders for residents, following suit with Moscow’s quarantine.

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Travel latest news: International trips will not be illegal for people living in Tier 3

More than half of skiers are willing to accept the Government’s new five-day quarantine rule in exchange for the chance to go on a ski holiday this winter, reports Lucy Aspden.

A survey carried out by ski equipment rental company Intersport, which has shops all over Europe, found that 80 per cent of skiers still hope to be able to hit the slopes this season, wth the majority (59 per cent) happy to quarantine for five days on their return.

However, there are a number of hurdles these determined skiers will face before they hit the slopes. Lack of travel options and insurance cover are two of the main reasons skiers are holding off booking their trips just yet. The majority haven’t yet secured a holiday, with over 41 per cent intending to leave it until the last minute, once their safe in the knowledge resorts in Europe will reopen.

“Of course we all want to see British skiers out here this winter,” said Arnaud Coppell, head of Intersport Rent in France. 

“We know that the quarantine on the way back into the UK is a real problem for our British friends. We welcome the UK Government’s change in the number of quarantine days, and we can assure our customers that our shops are ready for this unusual winter, with a virtual queueing system, obligatory alcohol gel and masks and a no-questions-asked refund policy. To our friends in Great Britain we say this: whenever you can get here – no matter how late in the season – we’re ready!” he added.

The brand’s ambassador and Ski Sunday presenter Ed Leigh predicts increased demand for spring ski holidays. “I’ve been pushing Easter as the best time to go skiing regardless of Covid. But with this change in quarantine regs, it actually means that for 2021 there’s actually a perfect week lining up.”

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Yorkshire Energy is latest domestic supplier to run out of spark | Business News

Another of Britain’s retail energy groups is in emergency talks to avert its collapse, underlining the growing crisis in a sector facing a wave of bad debts because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News has learnt that Yorkshire Energy, which is understood to have roughly 75,000 gas and electricity customers, has been working with advisers to raise additional funding.

Sources said that while there remained an outside chance of the company securing new financial backing, Yorkshire Energy could be the latest supplier to have its customer base transferred to a larger rival.

A price cap introduced by Ofgem has curbed bill hikes

Its board was understood to be meeting on Tuesday to discuss its options.

Yorkshire Energy launched just two-and-a-half years ago, one of dozens of start-ups in a market in which the biggest players were under fire for their pricing and poor customer service.

A price cap introduced by the regulator, Ofgem, has curbed the scale of price increases, but has also squeezed operators’ margins, with dozens disappearing from the market.

This year, local authority-owned suppliers including Bristol Energy and Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy have seen their customer books absorbed by larger players in the UK market.

Last week, Ofgem said it was likely to lift the price cap, triggering an increase in average users’ bills by £21 next year, in order to protect companies against payment defaults.

Yorkshire Energy, which also supplies about 130,000 meter points, has been working with KPMG in recent weeks to find new investors.

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COVID-19: The economic virus

One insider said the company, which is privately owned and employs about 50 members of staff, could throw in the towel within days.

Yorkshire Energy declined to comment.

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Blackstone’s Schwarzman becomes latest Trump ally to throw in the towel, acknowledge Biden’s win

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Slowly but surely, some of Donald Trump’s closest allies in the business world are accepting what Trump himself has yet to acknowledge—that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will be the next president of the United States.

On Monday, Blackstone Group chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, one of the President’s staunchest and most prominent allies on Wall Street, publicly stated as much—telling Axios that the outcome of the election “is very certain today, and the country should move on.”

“I supported President Trump and the strong economic path he built,” Schwarzman said in a statement to the publication. “Like many in the business community, I am ready to help President-elect Biden and his team as they confront the significant challenges of rebuilding our post-COVID economy.”

Schwarzman acknowledged comments he made three days after the election, during a meeting of two dozen Fortune 500 CEOs, in which he defended Trump’s reluctance to concede the race. While many of the CEOs reportedly discussed taking collective action if Trump refused to leave the White House, Schwarzman defended the President’s right to legally challenge the outcome.

“I’m a fan of good process,” Schwartzman told Axios, adding that he was “trying to be a voice of reason and express why it’s in the national interest to have all Americans believe the election is being resolved correctly.”

The Blackstone head’s willingness to embrace President-elect Biden as the future commander-in-chief is notable because of his close relationship with Trump. Schwarman parlayed his status as one of Wall Street’s biggest political donors to become a close confidant of the President, particularly on matters relating to trade and U.S.-China policy.

But as the President’s legal challenges to the election’s outcome continue to falter and his administration continues to stonewall the tradition process of handing over the reigns, more business leaders and industry groups have taken Schwarzman’s stance of accepting Biden’s victory and urging an orderly transition of power.

Last week saw Tom Donahue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—one of the nation’s most powerful business lobbying groups, and traditionally an advocate for Republican presidential administrations—urge Trump to “not delay the transition a moment longer.” Likewise, the leadership of the National Association of Manufacturers also called on the federal government to begin the transition process last week, while JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon appealed for a “peaceful transition” to “a new president,” and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon took the somewhat unusual step of congratulating Biden on his company’s third-quarter earnings call.

So far, those calls have yet to be echoed by most establishment Republicans, the overwhelming majority of whom have refused to publicly challenge the President’s efforts to challenge the election, baselessly cast doubt on its integrity, and stifle the transition process. Their willingness to accommodate Trump appears rooted in an aversion to alienating the Republican base, among whom Trump remains hugely popular.

But even that wall of obedience among mainstream Republicans appears to be cracking. Former New Jersey governor and Trump ally Chris Christie labeled the President’s legal strategy “a national embarrassment” over the weekend, while Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) congratulated Biden on his victory and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) called on Trump to respect “the sanctity of our electoral process.”

Renowned journalist Carl Bernstein also reported the names of 21 Republican senators who have privately “expressed extreme contempt for Trump and his fitness to be president”—raising the possibility that more lawmakers will break from the President’s ranks in the days and weeks to come.

More politics coverage from Fortune:

  • Betting markets called the presidential election more accurately than polls
  • Biden beat Trump but now faces the final boss: Mitch McConnell
  • For pollsters, it’s back to the drawing board after yet another miss in the 2020 election
  • What my day on conservative social network Parler was like
  • Biden’s corporate tax plan depends on Georgia’s Senate results

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Coronavirus latest: Cuomo calls on US Congress to extend and expand jobless benefits

People with and without masks walk past the Hudson’s Bay flagship store in Toronto’s Queen Street

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, ordered a lockdown on metropolitan Toronto from Monday after a record high number of new coronavirus cases were reported at the weekend.

The province recorded 1,534 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, following a record 1,588 on Saturday, prompting officials to impose a lockdown on Canada’s largest city.

Of the total, about 460 were reported in Toronto, 490 in Peel Region, and 130 in York Region, according to provincial health minister Christine Elliott.

From Monday, all outdoor dining and patios closed will be shut in Toronto as well as neighbouring Peel.

“Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly encouraged to support local businesses,” the city said in a statement.

Toronto mayor John Tory urged city residents to follow the health guidelines as the city closed many stores. Malls were shut, except for essential businesses. Large retailers with a grocery section can remain open at 50 per cent capacity.

All hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlours, indoor gyms and recreational programmes are suspended.

“Residents are asked to stay home, except for essential trips for groceries, health care, child care, school and work,” the Toronto city statement said.

Canada has reported more than 326,000 cases since the pandemic began, with more than 11,400 fatalities. Of those, Ontario accounted for about 104,000 cases and 3,500 deaths.

Health officials warned of a heightened threat to the country as the holiday season approached.

“Both community transmission and outbreaks are contributing to Covid-19 spread in Canada, including spread to high risk populations and settings,” Theresa Tam, the country’s chief medical officer, said on Sunday.

“Our best protection, now and into the holiday season, is to limit errands and outings to the essentials, keep in-person social activities to our existing household and strictly and consistently maintain public health practices,” she added.

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Man in his 60s latest COVID-19 victim in Waterloo Region: Public Health

Waterloo Public Health announced a COVID-19-related death in the area for the second time in a week.

“I am saddened to hear of another death where COVID-19 is thought to have been a contributing factor in our community,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region’s medical officer of health, said in a statement.

Read more:
Kitchener hospital in charge of Elmira retirement residence after COVID-19 outbreak

“I wish to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones. The individual was a male in his 60s and had underlying conditions.”

The COVID-19 death toll in the region rises to 123 with Sunday’s news.

The agency also announced 61 new positive tests for the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the area to 3,019.

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There were also 55 people cleared of the virus, lifting the number of resolved cases to 2,555.

Small businesses struggling to meet bottom line in COVID-19 pandemic

Small businesses struggling to meet bottom line in COVID-19 pandemic

There are still 341 active cases in the region including 21 people who are in area hospitals.

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On Sunday, the region announced that Wang had ordered St. Mary’s General Hospital to take over managing Village Manor in St. Jacobs after 19 residents and three staff members have tested positive in an outbreak that began on Nov. 14.

There are currently 24 active outbreaks in the area after two more were announced on Sunday.

One was declared at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener after a teacher and student tested positive.

The other was at Chartwell Westmount Retirement Residence in Kitchener after a staff member tested positive.

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Ontario reports 1,534 new coronavirus cases, 14 deaths

Two sports-related outbreaks grew by a case apiece after a 16th case was connected to a racquet sports-related outbreak and a seventh case was connected to a hockey-related outbreak.

Ontario reported 1,534 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 103,912.

“Locally, there are 490 new cases in Peel, 460 in Toronto and 130 in York Region,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

Fourteen more deaths were also announced on Sunday, bringing the provincial death toll to 3,486.

*With files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca

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