Photo: Atle Staalesen

Public gatherings are banned in Murmansk. But only if they include foreigners

In a bid to curb spread of coronavirus, authorities in the Russian Arctic region prohibit mass events in sports, business or culture. But only if there are foreign citizens on site.
March 13, 2020

A set of new restrictive measures are being introduced in the Kola Peninsula. In a government meeting devoted to the epidemiological situation in the region, Governor Andrey Chibis underlined that the new regulations are needed to minimize risks of spreading of the coronavirus.

Among the measures is a ban on all mass gatherings that included include foreigners. All other events in the field of culture, sports and business can proceed as before, he made clear.

No cross-border traveling

Regional authorities also call on people not to visit foreign countries, including the neighboring Norway and Finland. Furthermore all regional delegations abroad have been cancelled, Chibis said.

Upon return from abroad locals must give notice to the authorities and subsequently enter a 2-weeks quarantine. In cases of breach of the quarantine, violators face up to 80.000 rubles of fines. In cases where carriers of the virus infect other people, there can be issues prison sentences as high as 5 years.

The new regulations take effect on March 14th, the regional government informs.

“Little risk in Russia”

Also Russian federal authorities are taking measures against the coronavirus. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Friday announced that all flight connections with the EU will be cancelled from Monday 16th March. The regulations do not cover certain flights to European capital cities.

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Earlier this week Mishustin underlined that “the risk of spreading of the infection in our country has been reduced to a minimum.”

By Friday evening, a total of 51 cases of infection had been registered in Russia, a coronavirus monitoring site informs. That is up from 29 on Thursday.

No cases of coronavirus have so far been recorded in the Kola Peninsula.

Cases in neighboring Norway

Meanwhile, in the neighboring Nordic countries, the number of infected people has boomed over the last days. In Norway, the official number of cases on Friday evening reached 890 people. That country’s authorities on Thursday introduced unprecedented measured against the virus. Kindergartens, schools and universities are being closed along with sport halls and public events. Also fitness centers, hairdressers, cafes and restaurants are closed and stringent traveling restrictions both abroad and domestically are introduced.

Any visitor from abroad will be forced into 2-weeks of quarantine.

 

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