All the traveling world is now reshaping their travel plans due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Those of you, who planned to visit Russia or visit St. Petersburg as part of the Baltic cruise, of course, are interested to know what is going on here and how Russia is responding.
The situation now in St. Petersburg is quite stable. However, as we could see in other coutries, it might change quite rapidly. So, from time to time, I will post on how the things are going on and what changes we have.
To start with, the numbers as of today, March 17, 2020: 114 people are sick in Russia (9 of these cases are in St. Petersburg); 8 people have recovered. Deaths: 0. We can monitor these changes on gisaid.org
As a matter o fact, there’s no panic in St. Petersburg. All the shops and supermarkets work as usual, no crowds sweeping toilet paper or cereals.
There are just a few people wearing masks in the streets and in public places. Everyone can walk in the streets and use public transport. Restaurants and theatres aren’t closed either. St. Petersburg theatres have even published a new playbill for the spring break from school. Museums, however, started to practice limited access of visitors.
In Moscow schools closed down for the spring break earlier. In St. Petersburg kids continue to study in the flexible attendance mode. Kindergartens work as they usually do.
There are people who are able to work from home, so their families have gladly started sort of self-isolation (kids stay at home, somebody has gone to their country-side dachas earlier this year). The others are trying to practice social distancing and stay away from crowds and gatherings.
Everyone has become acutely aware of good hygiene necessity. So one thing that all the pharmacies have run out of is sanitizers and disinfectors.
The government believes that key driver of the spread of new coronavirus are people who travelled abroad. As a result, Russia’s shutting down the borders till May 1, 2020.
Some public events have been cancelled or postponed too, the major ones being St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (cancelled) and UEFA European Championship (postponed).
Coronavirus is taking its toll on business and travel industry in particular here. However, it’s better be safe than sorry. So, stay safe and keep monitoring the situation. I will keep you posted on how the situation with coronavirus unfolds in St. Petersburg.