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St. Petersburg reopening restaurants and shopping malls

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Mass public events are still banned until August 16.

This week, travel agencies, private museums, swimming pools, restaurants, and, most waited for by St. Petersburg people, shopping malls have reopened after almost four months of the quarantine. Shoppers must be wearing masks and gloves, and shop assistants ought to disinfect surfaces regularly. Saint-Petersburg TV Channel’s Maxim Lebedev reports.

No entrance without masks, everybody should be wearing a mask.

Thousands of people came to the reopened shopping malls on Monday. The first shoppers said the things they needed the most were clothes. During the quarantine, they bought things online, but did not get used to it.

Xenia Afanasieva, a shopper, explains: ‘We ordered things distantly, but not all of them fitted. It is always better to try things on and compare which suits you better.’

Alla Yefimyuk, another shopper, adds: ‘You need to feel some things, right? You cannot judge by the picture. We are not shopaholics, but you need to see the quality, whether it is cotton, linen, natural fabrics – you don’t want to buy synthetic things.’

St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov signed the order allowing shopping malls to reopen after a meeting with the sanitary authorities and business circles last week. Shop assistants should regularly disinfect the premises and make sure that shoppers are wearing individual protective equipment.

Anastasia Paramonova, a shop assistant, tells: ‘We work in masks and gloves. I took off my mask for the interview. We also have protective screens, and there are markings in the shop.’

While shops have reopened, food courts and cinemas in shopping malls are still closed. But large restaurants and cafes are already receiving guests.

Maxim Lebedev, reporter, tells: ‘Open terrace cafes were allowed to open in June. But not everybody would enjoy having a meal in the city center with lots of cars and passers-by around. Now that restaurants have reopened, they are having a lot of guests.’

Outside the city center, there are not so many people coming to restaurants. But, restaurateurs say, they did not expect anyone would come to them on the very first day at all. But they were getting ready to meet their guests. 

Valeria Shemyakova, a restaurant manager, explains: ‘We were working in a delivery-only mode for more than three months. And we were looking forward for reopening. We got prepared buying disinfectants and instructing the personnel.’ 

Kindergartens, travel agencies, fitness centers, swimming pools, private museums and galleries have also reopened. Mass public events are still banned until August 16.

Photo and video: St. Petersburg TV channel

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