17 Jan 2022 17:20

State Duma Council unanimously removes bill on QR codes from agenda

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) - The Council of the Russian State Duma voted unanimously on Monday to take off the agenda a government-proposed bill on introducing QR codes for entry to public places, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.

"The Council of the State Duma unanimously removed the bill on QR codes from the agenda," Volodin said on Telegram on Monday.

The government-proposed bill making QR codes mandatory for entry to public places, which drew outcry, passed the first reading in the State Duma on December 16.

However, an informed source in the parliament told Interfax on January 13 that the bill was expected to be delayed for a number of reasons.

"First of all, the government has not declared it as a priority; besides, in regions both governors and sanitary physicians currently may use their powers and introduce, if necessary, QR codes for entry to public places," the source said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said later that the Russian government had indefinitely postponed the State Duma's second-reading debate on the introduction of QR codes, as the measures it proposed dealt with the Delta variant of Covid-19, but the Omicron strain is posing new challenges.

Secretary of the United Russia Party's General Council Andrei Turchak has also said that a review of the bill introducing QR codes for entry to public places ought to be postponed.

"Nowadays, all efforts should focus on the top priority task, i.e. extending assistance to citizens, pensioners, people who live alone, and families with three or more children. As a matter of fact, this is what United Russia has been doing over these two years of the [Covid-19] pandemic," the party's press service quoted Turchak as saying on Friday.