Last week, Moscow city officials decided that all restaurants, cafes, and bars in Moscow must only accept customers who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months.
Customers must visit a government site to obtain a QR code. This is a digital pattern that can be read by a scanner.
The city officials made a concession to desperate restaurant owners and said that QR codes would not be required for outdoor restaurants within the next two weeks. If accompanied by their parents, underage customers will not need to present documentation.
Moscow is now experiencing the same infection levels as last winter, and has recorded record-breaking daily coronavirus deaths.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated that the coronavirus situation remains very difficult in Moscow. "We have seen new records in hospitalizations, ICU visits, and coronavirus deaths over the last week."
Although Russia was the first to offer a coronavirus vaccination, only 14% have received them.
Officials blame widespread skepticism regarding vaccines, lax attitudes towards taking necessary precautions, and the rapid spread of new infectious variants.
Among the surge in vaccinations, 18 Russian regions, from Moscow and St. Petersburg, to the far-eastern region Sakhalin, have made it mandatory for all employees working in certain sectors such as government offices and retail, health care and education, and other service industries, to get vaccinated this month.
Moscow authorities ordered that companies suspend employees who refuse to get vaccinated and threatened to stop operations temporarily for those businesses that didn't achieve the goal of having at least one shot and both by August 15th.
Russia's coronavirus taskforce reported Monday 21,650 new infections, and 611 deaths in the last day. The majority of infections are concentrated in Moscow, the region surrounding the capital, and St. Petersburg (the country's second largest city).
Russia has seen 5.47 million cases of infection and 133,893 deaths since the pandemic began.