Russia to Close Restaurants, Cafes from Saturday

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The Russian government has ordered all cafes and restaurants to close for a week from Saturday to stem the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Russian regions are to "halt the activities of public food service organisations," except for delivery services, a government decree said on Friday.

The decree also ordered regional authorities to halt the work of resorts until June, and to recommend that Russians limit travel.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday declared a non-working week from March 28 to April 5 to "prevent the threat of the quick spread of the illness," as the number of coronavirus cases has spiked in recent days, particularly in Moscow.

Putin also urged Russians to heed all recommendations of healthcare professionals and government officials.

The country has grounded all international flights from Friday, but stopped short of ordering a full-blown quarantine. 

Two people have died of the coronavirus infection and 840 have so far fallen ill, according to official statistics.