Restaurants open to visitors // Restrictions on catering are lifted in Moscow and the Moscow region

The system of mandatory QR codes introduced on June 28 for visiting cafes and restaurants in Moscow will be canceled from Monday. Also, establishments are allowed to work at night and the activity of food courts is resumed. A similar decision was made by the authorities of the Moscow region. Restaurateurs expect traffic to recover in a couple of weeks.

Since July 19, the system of mandatory QR codes for restaurants and cafes has been canceled in Moscow, the ban on the work of establishments at night has been lifted and the activity of food courts has been resumed. The corresponding decree was published by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Events in clubs, bars, discos and karaoke are allowed subject to epidemiological requirements.

As noted by Mr. Sobyanin, in Moscow the situation with COVID-19 remains difficult, but the main indicators are improving for the fourth week, and more than 2 million people have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.

In the Moscow region, from July 19, the owners of catering establishments will also be able to make a decision on checking QR codes from visitors on their own. At the same time, thermometry at the entrance, wearing masks and observing social distance remain mandatory.

The system of mandatory QR codes for visiting cafes and restaurants in Moscow was introduced on June 28. The codes could have been received by those vaccinated against COVID-19, who had recovered, or who had a negative PCR test. For summer verandas, the regime of free attendance was maintained.

Market participants called the measures excessive and noted that they only worsen the financial situation of the industry, which suffered from the consequences of the fight against COVID-19 in 2020. The restrictions led to the virtual disappearance of visitors, the revenues of establishments decreased by 60-90% depending on the segment, and the share of take-away or delivery orders does not grow significantly, Vitaly Kornev, the founder of the Moremania chain, wrote to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Sergei Sobyanin.

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The founder of the StrEat project, Maxim Popov, plans to launch as usual from Monday – now the site is open to take away, as well as with a separately organized COVID-free zone. According to him, the traffic in his establishment will recover no earlier than September – after the employees of the nearby business centers return from the remote work format. The Shokoladnitsa Group of Companies (coffee shops of the same name, as well as the Coffee House and Wabi Sabi chains) expect traffic to recover in a couple of weeks: “Guests miss the atmosphere of coffee houses, summer meetings with friends.”

Nikita Shchurenkov

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