Russia opens country to foreign athletes despite rise in pandemic

by Akeem Alao

The Russian government has disclosed plan to open the country to foreign athletes who are competing in its domestic sports leagues.

In a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Russian borders were closed to foreigners and all international flights were grounded in March.

The Russian government disclosed in a statement on Sunday May 17, 2020, that athletes and coaches under contract with a Russian sports organization would be put under medical observation and instructed to spend two weeks in quarantine upon their return to the country.

“The decision will help professional sports organisations, including the soccer clubs in the Russian Premier League, to resume training after the easing of measures linked to the spread of the coronavirus,” the statement reads.

The Russian Football Union also disclosed on Friday that the country’s top professional soccer league would resume matches on June 21.

President Vladimir Putin announced that it was time to gradually lift the nationwide restrictions that had forced many people to work from home and businesses to temporarily close.

As of Sunday May 17, 2020, Russia’s coronavirus task force had recorded 9,709 new cases of the virus, bringing the nationwide total to 281,752, which is the second highest in the world after the United States.

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