Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that from Tuesday the nationwide coronavirus lockdown will be relaxed and businesses will be allowed to operate.
He mentioned that the country’s “non-working period” imposed to curb the virus had lasted six weeks.
The easing of restrictions will affect all sectors of the economy, Mr Putin said, but some regions may keep tighter controls if necessary.
Russia now has become the third-highest number of confirmed infections worldwide.
That means Russia now has more confirmed cases than Italy and the UK. Only Spain and the US have reported more infections. However, comparisons between countries are not always accurate because of different factors such as the extent of their testing.
In an address, the Russian leader announced an end to six weeks of countrywide lockdown, which he said had allowed the country to prepare its health system and save “many thousands of lives”.
“Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy,” Mr Putin said. Individual regions however will be able to keep rules in place if needed.
Large public events remains banned and people must still follow “strict sanitation demands”, but it is in everyone’s interest for the economy “to return to normal quickly”, he said, adding that construction and farming should be among the first industries to restart.
The address comes just days after the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, extended the capital’s lockdown until 31 May.
Though construction and industrial workers must now return to work in the city, everyone must wear face masks and gloves in shops and on public transport.
Residents still cannot leave home unless to shop, work or walk the dog, and must have a digital permit to travel.