Legal alerts / 7.04.2020

Restrictions on the rights of physical persons due to Сovid-19

The coronavirus epidemic has required prompt intervention from state authorities, which boils down to maintaining restrictions in order to prevent the further spread of infection. Initially, quarantine measures applied only to people arriving from abroad but now the restrictions affect all Russian citizens. In this review we systematize the existing personal restrictions in Moscow and Saint Petersburg together with risks associated with them.

Limited self-isolation mode

A high-alert mode has been introduced in all regions of the Russian Federation, which allows regional authorities to take measures to prevent and eliminate the consequences of the coronavirus infection. In view of this, citizens have become significantly restricted in their choice of spending time outside of their dwellings. In Moscow and Saint Petersburg citizens are allowed to leave their dwellings to:

  • seek emergency medical care;
  • go to work if such work has not been suspended (for example, work at a steel plant or a grocery store) and use food services on the employer’s territory;
  • use the services of organizations whose activities are not suspended (for example, banking and insurance services, delivery services, communications, gas stations, sales of tobacco products, periodicals, and motor fuel);
  • visit the nearest stores;
  • walk pets at a distance not exceeding 100 meters from the house;
  • throw away garbage [1].

Movement through the city that is not included in this list is prohibited in Moscow for all citizens; in Saint Petersburg, it is prohibited only for people over 65 years of age (all others are only recommended to follow the restrictions).

Additionally, in Moscow from 6 April 2020 it is allowed to visit optical salons, baths, tanning salons, beauty salons and massage rooms with medical licenses [2].

Absolute self-isolation mode

Some citizens are completely prohibited from leaving their place of residence during the quarantine period. These are:

  • persons over 65 years of age (until the end of April);
  • persons with chronic diseases established by regional acts [3] (until the end of April);
  • persons who arrived in the Russian Federation from abroad [4], as well as persons who live together with them — for the period specified in individual decisions of sanitary doctors [5].

Persons over 65 years of age who comply with the isolation mode will receive a one-time targeted payment of 2,000 rubles [6].

Responsibility for a violation of isolation mode

Violations of self-isolation mode are subject to administrative liability at the federal and regional levels.

On 1 April 2020 amendments to article 6.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation entered into force. Now it imposes a fine of between 15,000 to 40,000 rubles for a violation of the quarantine acts.

In Moscow [7] and the Moscow region [8] additional regional fines have been imposed for a violation of the high-alert regulations governed by the local authorities. The amount of the fine is from 4,000 to 5,000 rubles. In Saint Petersburg there is not as yet any similar act.

Regional authorities are also broadcasting warnings to the public about criminal liability for violating self-isolation mode. However, simply leaving the house is not a crime, even in Moscow where the restrictions are prohibitive. Article 236 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation criminalizes only certain violations of sanitary and epidemiological rules. The investigation must prove that a violation of the rules by a particular person was the direct cause of serious consequences:

(a) the mass spread of disease among the public or the threat of this; or

(b) the death of a person.

There is currently no practice of criminal cases being initiated under this article due to COVID-19. It is highly unlikely that such cases will be a prospect for people who are without symptoms of the infection and are not subject to individual isolation orders.

 

[1] Paragraph 1.5 of resolution No. 182 of the Government of Saint Petersburg dated 3 April 2020 “On amending resolution No. 121 of the Government of Saint Petersburg dated 13 March 2020”; paragraph 10.3 of decree No. 12-UМ of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020 “On the introduction of high-alert mode” as amended by decree No. 39-UM of the Moscow Mayor dated 4 April 2020 “On amendments to decree No. 12-UМ of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020”.

[2] Paragraph 3.2.3 of decree No. 12-UМ of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020 as amended on 4 April 2020.

[3] Appendix 4 to decree No. 12-UМ of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020.

[4] Paragraph 2.3 of the resolution of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation dated 18 March 2020 “On providing isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19”.

[5] Paragraph 7.3 of decree No. 12-UМ of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020 as amended on 4 April 2020.

[6] Paragraph 1.4 of resolution No. 167 of the Government of Saint Petersburg dated 30 March 2020 “On amendments to resolution No. 121 of the Government of Saint Petersburg dated 13 March 2020”; paragraph 8.4.1 of decree No. 12-UМ of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020 as amended on 4 April 2020.

[7] Article 2(1) of Law No. 6 of Moscow dated 1 April 2020 “On amendments to articles 2 and 8 of Law No. 77 of Moscow dated 10 December 2003 “On public order in Moscow” and Law No. 45 of Moscow dated 21 November 2007 “The Code of Administrative Offences of Moscow”.

[8] Article 1 of the Law of the Moscow region “On amendments to the Law of the Moscow region “The Code of Administrative Offences of the Moscow region” and on the suspension of articles 15.2 and 15.3 of the Law of the Moscow region “The Code of Administrative Offences of the Moscow region”.

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