Oct 25, 2021
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The hotel business is already in a coma. Next in line are cafes and restaurants.

The hotel business is already in a coma.  Next in line are cafes and restaurants.

Photo: Valery Sharifulin / TASS

This year, the November holidays and the school holidays that coincide with them have been extended due to the so-called fourth wave of coronavirus. In six regions of the country, non-working days began on Monday 25 October. Traditionally, Russians have a “long weekend” time for short trips. Among the most popular tourist destinations at the end of autumn are the Krasnodar Territory, the Moscow Region, the Caucasian Mineral Waters, Petersburg, Crimea and the Kaliningrad Region.

However, in almost all regions attractive to tourists, more than 150 cases of coronavirus are recorded per 100 thousand of the population per week. They are in the “red” zone, which means that it is better not to meddle there without the need to meddle. The exception is the still prosperous Krasnodar Territory and Stavropol Territory, but how the situation will develop further is an open question. That is why the regions of Russia hastily introduced restrictions designed to prevent the spread of infection. Local bans are clearly targeting visitors from other regions of the country. Many citizens had to hastily adjust their plans.

As the Honorary President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry notes Sergey ShpilkoMany people planning to take a “long weekend” are canceling their trips. This will lead to the fact that the debts of tour operators for refunds for failed tours will begin to grow again. Now companies are required to return money to customers within two months, that is, by January 1, 2022. The only way out is to extend this period. If this is not done, then a wave of bankruptcies may begin. Moreover, in this case, citizens risk not seeing their money at all.

The most offensive thing in what is happening is that people will go to rest anyway. But either abroad, or they will use the services of the private sector. You cannot attach a warden to every conventional “grandmother” who rents out rooms to vacationers. Private traders do not require any certificates and test results.

Catering establishments will also be “victims”. Restaurateurs sprinkle ashes on their heads in advance. According to the owners of the capital’s establishments, in Moscow during the period of summer restrictions, revenue fell to 95% percent. And this is taking into account the fact that summer verandas were opened. Now those who want to sit on the street will have to look for them during the day with a lantern. What is sadder is that the service personnel will again be left without money.

And one more thing – establishments with good cuisine and a pleasant atmosphere will be bent. But fast food chains will come out of the restriction regime with the least losses. Burgers, pizzas and other food that are unhealthy, almost do not lose their taste on delivery.

The distribution includes theaters and cinemas, museums, shopping centers, libraries … Regions are tightening the screws in every way. In Moscow, which serves as an example to everyone else, citizens over 60 years old and those with chronic diseases must isolate themselves from October 25. And employers for the period from October 25 to February 25 are required to switch to remote work mode at least 30% of the total number of employees.
In the Rostov region, quarantine and PCR tests have become mandatory for all arriving in the region since October 20. Restrictions also apply to residents of the region who left the region after this date for 72 hours or more. Upon their return, they will be required to undergo PCR testing and remain at home in self-isolation until a result is obtained.

In the Kursk region, a self-isolation regime is being introduced for unvaccinated citizens over 65 years old. In addition, all retail outlets are closed, except for pharmacies, stores selling essential goods, baby food and hygiene products. And all sports matches will be held without spectators.

In St. Petersburg, from October 30 to November 7, the work of public catering and retail facilities is suspended. Fitness centers, swimming pools, water parks, aquariums, attractions – and other entertainment and leisure facilities will also be closed. The restrictions will not affect only pharmacies and grocery stores. Representatives of the northern capital’s tourism industry have already sent an appeal to the city authorities, asking them not to tighten antiquated measures in the field of hospitality. They believe that they have met all the requirements to prevent the spread of infection. Thanks to SPIEF, Euro 2020 and other major events, the vaccination rate for hotel personnel in St. Petersburg reaches 80%, and the number of tourists who stay in hotels does not exceed 3-4% of the number of people moving around the city. That is, tourists who come to cities on the Neva and stay in hotels will not complicate the epidemiological situation, but the restrictions will simply kill the industry.

President of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Tenants of Russia Andrei Bunich believes that the state must definitely develop some understandable measures to support entrepreneurs whose business will suffer due to the resumption of antiquated measures:

– First of all, we are talking about small and medium-sized businesses, they suffered the most because of last year’s lockdown. Lack of state support deprives people of confidence in the future, they do not see the future.

It is not only businessmen who fail to see the prospects. Netizens for the most part no longer swear selflessly, discussing the expediency of strict prohibitions, but displeased and dejectedly blurt out:

– Strange measures, given that vaccinated people can also carry coronavirus.

– First, the retirement age was increased, then they were banned from working. The logic is iron.

– Give true statistics on morbidity and mortality by age, as well as words and a desire to infringe on the rights of people who gave everything to their country and received so little in return.

– Will they want to collect taxes in a full month, or will they be satisfied with half?

The tired irritation accumulated in people noted and scientific director of the Levada Center *, sociologist Lev Gudkov:

– There is dissatisfaction, but it is rather diffuse: it is constant and is not caused by any specific actions. And this will continue until the incidence reaches thresholds, and the authorities will have to take clear coordinated measures. Now, after all, the policy regarding the fight against the pandemic is ambiguous: on the one hand, mass events are not canceled, air traffic is allowed with many countries, including world resorts, and on the other hand, rather strict restrictions are applied to some social groups. This causes additional irritation, and distrust of the authorities is growing. A high level of mistrust is expressed, among other things, in various kinds of fears. With a high level of mistrust and fears, local measures are not effective. A fundamentally different tactic is needed here.

Another important point: if you believe the numbers, the introduction of QR codes and other restrictions increased the number of people wishing to be vaccinated. But here’s the bad luck: cases of fraud began to come to light. For example, in one of the medical universities in St. Petersburg, a fictitious vaccination point was “covered”. According to the investigation, the doctors were filling out documents on the alleged vaccinations, and the vaccine itself was destroyed. At the same time, data on the pseudo-vaccinated were entered into electronic registers, on the basis of which QR codes were issued, and a certificate of vaccination was issued to them. Now all the buyers of false certificates are being identified who have used the services of enterprising doctors. Already found 12 people.

Director of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gunzburg believes the vaccination fraud is on a grand scale. In his opinion, about 80% of citizens who say that they were allegedly vaccinated with Sputnik V, but at the same time fell ill with COVID-19 in a severe form, simply bought vaccination certificates.

* ANO “Yuri Levada Analytical Center” is included by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the register of non-profit organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent.

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