November 20, 2020

Moscow's Merry Measures


Moscow's Merry Measures
Moscow is significantly limiting the amount of events to be held this New Year. Image by Chris Clogg via Wikimedia Commons

As we enter the eleventh month of the global coronavirus pandemic, many are wondering when things will be able to begin to return to normal.

In Russia, Sergey Sobyanin, mayor of Moscow, believes that the city will make its way out of the peak of the pandemic in a few months:

“This whole pandemic, epidemic is passing history, not even in years, but in months. I am sure that in a few months we will come out of this peak of the pandemic.”

This means, however, that Moscow will still be in the grips of the pandemic in December, when the New Year’s holiday starts.

As a result of this, Sobyanin has announced that New Year’s events and celebrations will be canceled:

“The New Year is still far away. But nevertheless, mass events, obviously, will not be held in this situation. Therefore, we have decided to ban mass cultural events, including large Christmas and New Year events.”

This includes, unfortunately, canceling Moscow’s tree-lighting festival. While streets will still be decorated to preserve the festive mood, the traditional “Travel to Christmas” festival («Путешествие в Рождество») has been canceled.

Given the difficult situation, some have called for extending the New Year’s holidays until January 25, to help slow the virus’ spread. While this idea has made its way all the way to the Duma, it is unclear whether it will gain enough support, given that regional leaders have the authority to make decisions on restrictive measures for their region.

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