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Russia Declares Nationwide Paid Week Off to Support Businesses and Employees

In a special Presidential Decree, President Putin announced a national paid week off period between March 30 and April 3, 2020, with limited exceptions. Banks, financial markets, food merchants, and pharmacies will remain open, as well as emergency services providers. All health and vacation resorts will be closed until June.

The government has also passed a stimulus package that will target low-income households and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Provisions for SMEs include a six-month tax holiday (excluding VAT) and a reduction in social contributions and payroll taxes. Provisions for families include an automatic renewal of social benefits for six months, as well as maternity capital and financial assistance for families with young children. Sick leave pay and unemployment benefits will be provided in the amount of at least one minimum wage per month until the end of 2020.

In addition to the anti-crisis measures to support businesses and employees, Russia has several travel restrictions in place:

  • On March 16, 2020, the Russian government temporarily restricted foreign nationals from entering the country until May 1, 2020.
  • Russian authorities have stopped accepting work or student visa applications from all foreign nationals.
  • Issuance of all types of work permits has been suspended.
  • Russian consular offices abroad have stopped issuing all other visas to foreign nationals with limited exceptions.

The country is also considering a nationwide lockdown after Moscow issued a March 30, 2020 order for residents to remain in their homes except for purchasing food or medicines, seeking urgent medical treatment, and walking dogs. 

The International Practice Group will continue to monitor COVID-19-related developments in Russia.

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