Squads of traffic police are now posted at all entrances into Moscow, city police confirmed to the news agency TASS. “Currently, officers are patrolling all districts of the capital around the clock. Additionally, road safety units are operating at all entrances into the city to monitor the flow of vehicles and ascertain the reason for individuals' entry into the capital,” explained Vladimir Vasenin, chief spokesperson for Moscow’s Interior Ministry.
According to the Telegram channel Baza, which has a famously close relationship with law enforcement across Russia, traffic police are stopping drivers, asking why they have come to Moscow, and requesting to see their “pass” and local registration paperwork. People who can’t produce these documents are not allowed to enter the city. At the same time, sources told Baza, neither the drivers nor the police officers know what the “passes” in question actually look like.
The BBC’s Russian-language service previously reported that the authorities in Moscow would begin limiting traffic into the city on April 11. The outlet’s two sources stressed, however, that the capital won’t be “closed directly.”
Due to Moscow’s worsening coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced on April 10 that the city would gradually introduce a “permit system” to monitor residents’ movements throughout the capital. The number of National Guard troops patrolling the streets will also increase.