Nov 2, 2021
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Lockdown will be extended, QR codes are forever

Lockdown will be extended, QR codes are forever

Photo: Vyacheslav Prokofiev / TASS

All-Russian kovikuly (a term formed from the merger of the words “kovid” and “vacation” – ed.) have had little effect on the dynamics of coronavirus infection in the country. Since the beginning of non-working days, more than 40 thousand new cases have been recorded per day. If this dynamics does not subside, the question naturally arises, what to do after November 7? SP wrote about a possible extension of the lockdown. The Novgorod region has already announced a non-working week from 8 to 12 November. Ulyanovsk is also thinking about a similar solution.

Another proposed scenario is the total introduction of QR codes for the access of vaccinated and ill people to crowded places. That is, cafes, restaurants, shopping centers, cinemas and theaters, as well as beauty salons will open. But only those who present the electronic code will be able to get there. In most regions of the country, this scheme is already in use. Ten subjects will introduce a requirement for QR codes before the beginning of winter. About ten more republics and regions have not yet taken any decision on this possible measure. Where there is no technical possibility to enter the total issuance of QR codes and their verification in all public places, vaccination certificates or a certificate of recovery will be required. This, in particular, was stated by the authorities of Khakassia.

Interesting and individual cases of “lifting restrictions” on the ground. So, in the Amur region, QR codes will be required only in the capital – Blagoveshchensk. But without them, they will not be allowed, for example, to the library. And in Bryansk – to the spa. In the Voronezh region, you will have to confirm the non-infectiousness at the entrance to the zoo and when visiting the pool. In Samara and Tyumen – in the circus, and in Smolensk – when visiting public baths and swimming pools. In the Kaliningrad region, QR codes are already being asked at the entrance to non-food stores.

Concert venues, clubs and discos will open for holders of electronic certificates in the Leningrad Region from November 8. And in Kalmykia, from December 1, you will need a QR code to go not only to a cafe, but also to a store, as well as to visit a registry office.

The authorities of Kabardino-Balkaria do not allow access to the cable car in the resort area of ​​Elbrus without a QR code, PCR test or certificate of a previous illness. A free alternative to the cable car – climbing on foot – not everyone can master. So, in fact, the southern slope of Elbrus was “under the cap of restrictions.” And in Sevastopol, without QR codes or replacing them with certificates of vaccination and previous illness, they are completely deployed at the entrance to the city.

Director of the Institute for Strategic Analysis of the company “Financial Accounting Consultants” Igor Nikolaev doubts the effectiveness of the introduction of QR codes or other methods of confirming vaccination and transferred COVID-19.

– The proposal is logical and understandable. But when I see estimates of how many falsely vaccinated we have among the vaccinated, the question arises – and then what? In my opinion, the costs will be lower if this division is not made, while at the same time increasing financial assistance to the business. We will not solve the problem of morbidity very effectively, trying to separate people with immunity (vaccinated and recovered) from those who do not formally have it.

President of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Tenants of Russia Andrei Bunich believes that for business a “complete lockdown” is like death, and working with QR codes is the lesser of evils.

– Any way to give an opportunity to work is good. So that those who work now stay afloat. In the current conditions, this will be a good result. Since many representatives of small and medium-sized businesses went bankrupt during these restrictions. See how much closed shops, cafes and establishments cost. There are a lot of advertisements for renting premises in Moscow.

“SP”: – How much will the introduction of QR codes revive the service sector, in comparison, say, with the pre-coronavirus period?

– If we take the pre-pandemic level and the end of the acute phase, the adaptation phase, when everyone gets used to QR codes, I think the number of industry participants will decrease by a third. In latent form, it has decreased, of course. Because many are registered, but no longer breathe. That is, they are in debt, in deferred tax payments. These businesses are unlikely to recover. And for those who survive, the QR code system will simply create a situation where many establishments can return to work. I believe that this is the way to get out of the most critical state. Anyway, it’s better than stopping everything.

“SP”: – If the authorities can force business to accept these rules of the game, the population will have no choice. If you want to enjoy the benefits of civilization – from transport to spas – provide a certificate. If you don’t want to, survive as you know …

– I don’t think there will be some kind of legal document establishing rules of this kind. But the practical application itself will divide, yes. Gradually, people who lead an active lifestyle will have to acquire QR codes. There will be a lot of difficulties without codes: you will not be allowed somewhere. It just gets boring. A person can endure once or twice. Ultimately, it will become easier for him to get a certificate already. Therefore, I think it will become a habit. And there will be a natural separation.

“SP”: – How will those who do not want to be vaccinated or for some other reason not get a QR code live?

– Of course, there will be those who still do not want to have any codes and will not. But these are people who, most likely, do not go anywhere anyway. If you don’t go anywhere, you live in some wilderness, then why do you need a QR code? Therefore, people with reduced mobility or living in remote places will be left without codes. And we have a lot of them in Russia.

“SP”: – How much?

– It is hard to say. Let’s count from the opposite. The entire economically active population of Russia is about 60 percent of the country’s population. All of them will gradually acquire certificates. There is simply no other way for this whole group of people to exist. Yes, it is already largely covered. A certain milestone has already been passed. And then the business will adapt to this. And everyone will perceive it as an absolute routine. This will ultimately allow us all to live in new conditions, more free.

“SP”: – In this case, how long will we then live by QR codes?

– This is a big question. Since after everyone gets used to it, then it seems like there is no need to cancel. Because they will always talk, and suddenly a wave (of infection, – ed.). Even now, if the virus subsides in a few months, there will still be a threat. And, by the way, all representatives of the fight against coronavirus are already talking about this. There is only one conclusion from this: everyone will get used to QR codes, business is adapting, government agencies are adapting. And then it seems unrealistic to me that this will be canceled, because everyone will start screaming: why cancel what works. Therefore, this is all for a very long time.

Now, as Andrei Bunich put it, we are in the adaptation phase. The authorities are developing various mechanisms to establish an economically active life in society. See which measures work and which don’t. Both businessmen and ordinary citizens are learning to apply these measures. But everyone forgets that for a long-term introduction of the QR-code system, it is enough for a business to download an application and train its employees to work with it. And buyers and users of services will have to be regularly revaccinated to receive the coveted certificate. Well, or constantly get sick.

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