Russia shuts borders, stops public events

Peter Spinella

Russia is shutting its borders to foreigners starting Wednesday in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect citizens.

The measure would be in place until May 1, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

Diplomats and permanent residents are exempt from the restrictions.

On Monday, the mayor of the Russian capital, Moscow, ordered that schools temporarily close and large public events be rescheduled over the virus.

There were about 100 cases of the new virus reported in Russia, most of them in Moscow, at the time that Mayor Sergei Sobyanin's order was posted on his website.

No one has been reported to have died from the illness in Russia.

Schools in the Russian capital were to close for nearly a month, from Sunday until April 12, pending a further assessment. Events that would include over 50 people were to be prohibited immediately, until April 10.

While public transportation is to continue operating, passengers would be prohibited from buying tickets directly from bus drivers, the statement said.