Putin lifts Russia's coronavirus 'non-working' period from Tuesday

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President Vladimir Putin on Monday said Russia's non-working period imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus will be lifted from Tuesday.

"Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy," Putin said, adding that Russia's regions will be able to keep in place any necessary anti-virus measures.

The president's announcement comes after Russia registered a record number of daily cases on Monday, with more than 11 000 people testing positive over the last 24 hours.

Health officials have recorded a total of 221 344 coronavirus infections and 2009 deaths.

Putin said that Russia had used the self-isolation period to prepare its healthcare system, increasing the amount of hospital beds and saving "many thousands of lives".

This "allows us to begin a gradual lifting of restrictions," he said.

"It is in the interest of all of us for the economy to return to normal quickly."

Construction, agriculture and energy should be restarted first, he added.

"The epidemic and associated restrictions have had a strong impact on the economy and hurt millions of our citizens," he said.

As people begin going back to work, mass events are still suspended and "strict sanitation demands" must be observed, Putin said.

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