| 1 March 2024, Friday |

Moscow city orders obligatory COVID-19 shots for 2 million workers

Moscow city authorities ordered all workers with public facing roles to be inoculated against COVID-19, one of the most forceful steps taken anywhere in the world to oblige employees to get jabs.

A decree issued on Wednesday listed several jobs from hairdressers, retailers and taxi drivers to bank tellers, teachers and performers – for which inoculation will now be obligatory. Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said the list covers more than 2 million workers in the Russian capital.

Companies were given a month to ensureat least 60 percent of staff had received first doses, or face fines or temporary closure.

At least one provincial region, the Kuzbass in Siberia, issued a similar order, which said “certain categories of citizens” would be required to get shots, and state agencies as well as businesses must inoculate 60 percent of staff by mid-July.

Russia has been offering vaccines to the public since last year, but has so far seen low uptake and is now seeing a major new surge of infections, with the capital hardest hit.

“More than 12,000 people are in hospitals with varying degrees of severity. In terms of morbidity, we are already at the level of last year’s peak,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on Wednesday on his personal blog.

  • Reuters