Putin Prolongs Non-Working Week Until April 30 as Part of COVID-19 Response
The Russian president made the announcement in a televised address, his second in eight days, regarding measures the government is taking to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Russia's week-long holiday for non-essential workers will be extended until April 30, President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday.
In a televised address to the nation, the president thanked doctors and volunteers for their efforts in battling the new coronavirus outbreak, and thanked ordinary Russians for their 'responsible approach' in following instructions aimed at curbing the virus's spread.
Putin stressed that the measures taken have helped to slow COVID-19's spread, with the week-long holiday and self-isolation measures giving doctors valuable time. This period off work for non-essential services will therefore be extended until the end of the month, unless the situation allows for it to be reduced as necessary.
"Dear citizens of Russia, I ask that you continue to pay the utmost attention to the demands of authorities and the recommendations of doctors and specialists, to protect yourselves and your loved ones. Our common responsibility and mutual support have been and remain extremely important, sometimes decisively so," Putin said.
Pointing to the need for a 'differentiated approach' to coronavirus-related restrictions on freedom of movement, Putin noted that the powers of regional authorities would be expanded under presidential decree to account for local needs and circumstances.
"It is extremely important to ensure effective interaction between different levels of government - federal, regional and municipal. Therefore, I have instructed my representatives in the federal districts to closely coordinate the work of regions. All information must be delivered to the Russian government's coordinating council on the fight against the coronavirus," the president said.
Putin instructed authorities to tighten measures as necessary on restricting the movement of vehicles, excepting inter-regional cargo transportation. In the event that additional restrictions are needed for systemically important enterprises, as swell as educational and scientific institutions, regions will be required to coordinate these measures with federal authorities.
Putin also noted that on the economic front, employment and income should be prioritized to ensure that people have enough resources to get through the crisis.