On 25 March 2020, President Putin introduced strict new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.1
As of 30 March until 3 April 2020, most employees in Russia are instructed not to report to work, except those working for:
- permanently operating organizations (organizations whose work cannot be suspended for production and technical reasons, for example metallurgical plants, or those that provide a continuously needed service (i.e., gas/petrol stations)
- medical institutions and pharmacies
- suppliers of foods and essential goods
- organizations performing urgent work in emergencies and other situations where lives or normal living conditions are at risk
- organizations performing emergency repair and loading/unloading work
Employees not at work during this period are to receive their regular salary.
Consequences of violation
Companies that fail to comply with the mandatory rules of sanitary and epidemiological safety rules may face a fine of up to 30,000 rubles (approx. USD 390). For repeated or gross violations, the authorities may suspend the business activities of a company for up to 90 days.2
If the spread of COVID-19 increases, the authorities may resort to criminal prosecution. Under Article 236 of the Russian Criminal Code, violations of sanitary-epidemiological rules that result in mass diseases through negligence are punishable by supervised restriction of freedom for up to one year, and if such negligence results in human death, by a prison term of up to five years.
A draft bill on toughening the punishments for violation of sanitary-epidemiological rules has been submitted to the Russian State Duma.
1 Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 25 March 2020 No. 206 "On the announcement of non-working days in the Russian Federation".
2 Articles 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation, Law No. 195-FZ of 30 December 2001.