The Russian government on Friday delayed approving unpopular legislation that would have restricted access to public places without proof of COVID-19 vaccination, amid a surge in new infections.
The Associated Press reports the bill would have required Russians seeking to enter certain public places to have a QR code either confirming vaccination, recent recovery from COVID-19 or a medical exemption from immunization.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova explained the measure was pulled due to uncertainty regarding its effectiveness as it was drawn up in response to the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. The omicron variant is currently driving a surge in new infections in the country.
She said 783 omicron variant cases have been confirmed all across Russia. Moscow officials reported 729 confirmed omicron cases in the capital since December 20.
Meanwhile, a French court suspended an outdoor mask requirement in the streets of Paris. The requirement had been imposed December 31, 2021, in an effort to suppress the spread of the omicron variant.
A court in Versailles on Wednesday suspended a similar outdoor masking requirement for the Yvelines region.