Public transport to several districts in the Murmansk region is now limited. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Limited entrance to six towns on the Kola Peninsula

Murmansk authorities take new strict measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
March 30, 2020

Checkpoints were Monday put up on the roads to Monchegorsk and Kovdor. From before, the towns of Kirovsk and Apatity have been isolated. Limited access is also introduced to the villages of Teriberka and Ura-Guba.

Murmansk governor Andrei Chibis signed the decree ordering isolation of Apatity and Kirovsk on Saturday. Only people with permanent or temporary registration and employees of businesses in the two towns are allowed to enter.

Special vehicle checkpoints are established, and additional to showing documents, all passengers will undergo a mandatory thermometry medical detection. If having a cold, you will be taken aside for extra diagnosis by a doctor, the regional government informs.

Air traffic to Khibiny airport, located halfway between Kirovsk and Apatity, will be suspended.

Last week, the ski resort in Kirovsk was shut down.

All hotels in the Murmansk region were closed from Saturday, like hotel Meridian in the centre of Murmansk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

The mines in Kirovsk, and the processing plant outside Apatity, will continue to work, a press-release from PhosAgro reads. The company supports the decision to isolate the two towns, saying it will “ensure uninterrupted operation of important enterprises critical for the economy of the region and the whole nation.”

The three external border checkpoints from the Kola Peninsula, two towards Finland and one on the road to Norway, are closed from Monday morning, like all other of Russia’s external border-crossing points.

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Murmansk region has a population of 748,000. By March 29th, five cases of coronavirus were confirmed, of which four are in hospital and one is discharged from medical observation. 

Regional authorities update the coronavirus statistics daily on the internet. 

Traffic is now limited to the industrial city of Monchegorsk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

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Read more: Barents Observer’s media partner, Eye on the Arctic, has compiled a brief resume of responses to this pandemic around the Arctic Circle to see how various national and sub-national governments are dealing with the outbreak. See here for updates.

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