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Russia Warns Of New Restrictions As It Reels From Surging Cases


A man walks past a vaccination point at the State Department Store GUM in Moscow.

Russia's labor minister has said workers who fail to get the COVID-19 vaccine in regions where the shot has been made compulsory could be forced to take unpaid leave.

Anton Kotyakov's comments, made on a government Telegram channel on June 20, come as Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities introduce an array of a new measures. The most prominent new proposal aims for mandatory shots for service workers.

Russia is grappling with a deadly new third wave of infections, with nearly half of them appearing in Moscow.

The Russian capital registered a slight decrease on June 20, with 8,305 infections in 24 hours. Still, it's higher than two weeks ago, when about 3,000 cases were recorded daily.

Among major public events that could be affected by the new measures is the Euro 2020 soccer tournament. Some matches are being played in St. Petersburg, which saw more than 1,000 new cases for the first time since the end of February.

Russia, with 129,361 deaths recorded by the government, is the hardest-hit country in Europe.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, dpa, and Reuters