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To maintain social distancing, Russian regulators say planes should be no more than half full

As the aviation industry hobbles back to work, Russia’s Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare is encouraging airlines to sell no more than 50 percent of the available seats on planes, in order to observe social distancing guidelines. 

The agency also recommends that passengers be seated in new configurations to put them as far as possible from each other, and says passengers and air crews should also be provided with masks, gloves, and sanitizer, and officials should measure everyone’s temperatures before boarding a flight. 

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency previously proposed a ban on all movement within the cabin during flights except for trips to the bathroom. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Russia suspended all regular and charter flights with the outside world, beginning in late March. There are no formal restrictions on domestic air travel, though plummeting demand has led airlines to reduce service. In April 2020, compared to a year earlier, air travel in Russia fell a whopping 91.8 percent.