Nov 10, 2021
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Don’t have a QR code? Walk on foot. Cabinet decides whether to allow only vaccinated people into transport

Don't have a QR code?  Walk on foot.  Cabinet decides whether to allow only vaccinated people into transport

Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

The Russian authorities are considering the possibility of introducing QR codes for passengers on airplanes and trains. RBC writes about this with reference to two federal officials and sources in the transport industry who are familiar with the discussion.

According to one of the sources in the relevant department, the technical feasibility of launching a system of QR codes in transport is currently being studied. A decision on this can be made if the situation with the spread of coronavirus in the country worsens.

According to one of the agency’s sources in the transport industry, while the authorities are collecting proposals from federal departments and both chambers of parliament. It is planned to complete it by November 15, after which it is possible to take specific measures. The source of the publication in Russian Railways confirmed the very fact of such a discussion in government circles, stressing that there is still no final decision on this issue.

According to one of the discussed scenarios, QR codes can be entered from air transport after the January holidays of 2022. According to RBC, the choice of air service for launching the system is due to the fact that it is easier to introduce it there. “Many long-distance trains have scheduled stops along the route, sometimes in a matter of minutes, during which it is difficult to quickly check the availability of QR codes and this function can be implemented only when buying a ticket,” the source said.

The Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Transport and the Federal Air Transport Agency declined to comment.

A day earlier, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is not currently discussing the possibility of introducing QR codes in air and rail transport.

Recall that at the beginning of the week, documents appeared on the Web signed by the head of the Information Technology Department of the FPK in the Rostov Region. Mikhail Zhukov, which said that Russian Railways plans to introduce mandatory QR codes when boarding trains from December 2021. The documents noted that “in accordance with the planned decision of the Russian government on the mandatory check by the carrier of the passenger’s QR code on vaccination”, special software must be installed on all electronic ticket control devices, and instructions must be issued to the conductors.

But there is no solution yet! So, no one doubts that it will appear?

– You can go for anything. The question is how effective it will be, and what the damage will be, – believes Director of the Institute of Freedom Fedor Biryukov

“The QR code system itself is more of a disciplinary rather than a protective measure. The presence of the code does not guarantee that a person is healthy at a given moment. And in addition to the coronavirus, there are many dangerous and easily spreading diseases that can worsen the epidemiological situation. Therefore, this entire campaign to “fumigate” the population is more needed by officials as a way to demonstrate vigorous activity.

Of course, the introduction of QR codes on railways and on airplanes will lead to colossal losses for carriers and equally serious problems for passengers. The state will have to either compensate for the losses of airlines, or prepare for a partial collapse of this area, which will inevitably affect the entire economic life of the country. It is unlikely that such negative consequences can be considered acceptable, given the apparently weak protective potential of the QR technique. This encoding is only an auxiliary element of the general antikoid strategy, and by no means a panacea for a pandemic.

However, it cannot be ruled out that the authorities, especially regional ones, may agree to the introduction of QR codes in transport as an emergency and temporary measure. For officials, this will become an additional “reputational insurance”, and for everyone else – another manifestation of the “fight against windmills”, so beloved by bureaucrats.

– I see no reason why the authorities should not take such measures, – says political scientist Anatoly Baranov

– The fact that someone goes bankrupt, they do not care. But the need to support the company from the budget is of great concern. This is the main argument against.

“SP”: – Is it generally technically possible?

– Technically, this is more than possible. Just commute cash programs with UMIAS and that’s it. You will not even need to present anything at the checkout, just the payment will not go through without a quar code.

“SP”: – Will it help the vaccination process?

– In our country, vaccination has suddenly acquired a political meaning. From a purely medical procedure, it has become a marker of attitudes towards power. Take 40 million vaccinated and 100 million unvaccinated, and you see real trust in authority.

As for what the citizens will do … There were already quar codes on cars, and I still have unpaid fines, although I had the right to travel. Another thing is that limiting mobility will have economic consequences. And the state is in no hurry to support its citizens. There will be protests, the more violent the more starving you get.

“SP”: – What’s next? Quar codes on buses and trolleybuses? In grocery stores?

– Quarkodes are everywhere – this is not a lockdown, it is segregation of citizens on the basis of vaccination. This causes an internal protest, the problem is from a medical one to a political one. Moreover, the rules are different in different regions. So the country will fall apart, we will not notice how …

– This soft, but annoying police force will cause even more rejection from citizens than serious and brutal repression, – I am sure member of the political council of the unregistered party “Other Russia E.V. Limonov “* Andrey Milyuk

– People are ready to endure severe hardships, but they will not tolerate humiliation of their dignity. They rise up not when life becomes bad, but when the authorities also mock their victims. Total checks of QR codes are, first of all, humiliating. As well as spot checks of passports, passages through the “frame” in the subway, inspections when boarding a plane and other daily police, to which we are already accustomed

To prevent small single thefts, the entire large team is forced to turn out their pockets every day, and some are taken to a separate office for a more thorough search – a similar comparison suggests itself. Citizens feel this very well, therefore, protests against the introduction of QR codes are starting in the regions.

There is also a massive mistrust of tens of millions of our fellow citizens, “crown skeptics”. Official propaganda openly intimidates the layman – not always cleverly, not always scientifically. But the same man in the street sees that the officials themselves are not engaged in propaganda, and that the coronavirus restrictions are not being used for their intended purpose. When it is necessary to hold a semi-official event, they spit on bans, when it is necessary to disrupt an opposition rally, they twist “health care” to the maximum. And despite the closed borders, they ride to their children and grandchildren living in the West.

The ability to violate coronavirus restrictions is becoming a part of elite consumption, along with expensive cars, yachts and palaces. Only this type of luxury is available to every citizen, and the citizen happily consumes. Despite the danger of a pandemic, despite any consequences.

The authorities have tried very hard to bring the common man to such a state, and now they are making him the same extreme. Need a general vaccination? – enter the obligation, vaccinate forcibly on labor collectives, but also accept responsibility for the possible consequences. It would be correct and fair.

* The organization is not registered with the Ministry of Justice of Russia

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