Has Moscow offered an official explanation for dropping vaccination QR-code checks?
According to the Moscow Times (which is financed by a Dutch press conglomerate whose Russian-language publications Russia declares to be "foreign agents")
As the highly transmissible Delta variant started sweeping across the country in June, Moscow announced a series of unprecedented steps to boost the vaccination rate, including a controversial QR-code entry system to bars and restaurants, as well as forcing service sector businesses to ensure 60% of their staff had been vaccinated, under threat of fines or shutdowns if they failed to hit the target.
Other regions followed Moscow’s lead, rolling out their own mandatory vaccination rules. Vaccination rates soared. By early July Russia was administering five times as many shots a day as the previous month.
But that trend has since reversed, following Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s decision to roll back the measures.
His move to cancel the unpopular QR-code entry system and not enforce checks on employees’ vaccination status was driven by political arithmetic and the looming parliamentary elections scheduled for next month, said Tatyana Stanovaya, founder of the R.Politik political analysis outfit.
It's not totally implausible that this was an electoral move, even in Russia, where the ruling party has enjoyed a continuous majority for a couple of decades, because various such relaxation of anti-Covid measures coincided with elections in other countries/regions and in some cases even marked wins, at least in local elections, for parties opposing such measures.
But, what I want to ask is: was there an official explanation given by the Russian local authorities why the QR-code checks were dropped?