Russia's President Vladimir Putin on March 31.
Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS / Getty
  • On March 25, President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would have a week-long paid vacation to stop the coronavirus.
  • People thinking he meant an actual vacation took to the streets, according to The New York Times.
  • Two days later, the Kremlin had to clarify that people were being told to stay at home, and those who could work from home should continue to do so.
  • Russia had reported about 2,337 cases of Covid-19 and 17 deaths as of Tuesday.
  • For more stories go to

Russian President Vladimir Putin told all of Russia they could have a week-long paid vacation. Two days later, the Kremlin had to clarify people were meant to be staying home, and those working from home should continue to do so.

Putin made his announcement on March 25. It was a precautionary measure to stop the coronavirus from spreading. But afterward, "the streets of Moscow and other cities filled with people enjoying their time off," according to The New York Times.

The holiday was meant to run from March 28 to April 5, and workers were guaranteed their salaries, The Guardian reported.

Two days after Putin's announcement, on an unplanned conference call with the media, the Kremlin interceded and clarified that people were meant to be staying home.

Tourists in Palace Square in central St Petersburg during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus on March 21.
Alexander Demianchuk / TASS / Getty
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that people who had been working remotely would continue to do so, according to Bloomberg.

"It's not days off or holidays in the classical understanding of that word," he said.

University classes across the country had also been canceled after Putin's announcement, but Peskov said they should still happen.

He said this wasn't a change to the holiday, he was just clarifying what the holiday entailed.

The number of Covid-19 cases is rising in Russia. As of Tuesday, Russia had about 2,337 cases and 17 deaths, according to Business Insider's David Choi.

On March 30, The Washington Post reported that the reality of the coronavirus in Russia, which previously appeared to be in a better condition than much of Europe or China, was beginning to show.

A number of signs backed this up, including reports about struggling hospitals, as well as Putin appearing in photos at a hospital wearing protective clothing - a visual acknowledgment of the crisis.

Putin made the holiday announcement after telling Russia it "cannot isolate itself from the threat," according to The New York Times.

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