Vladimir Putin did not say that all Russian people should stay at home or face five years in jail

24 March 2020
What was claimed

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s population to stay at home for 15 days or face five years in jail.

Our verdict

People in Russia arriving from high-risk areas must quarantine themselves for 14 days, and could face jail if they do not, but the general population has not yet been ordered to stay at home.

A post shared hundreds of times on Facebook has appeared to claim that Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has ordered the country to stay at home and said those who disobey this order will receive five years in prison. 

The post reads: “Putin has stated: Russian citizens have two options: stay at home for 15 days or in jail for 5 years. Statement is over.”

Authorities in Moscow have said jail time of up to 5 years is a possibility for those returning from high-risk countries and not isolating. Russia also said in February that it was deporting foreign nationals who it said had violated quarantine restrictions.

However, at the time of writing this article, Russia has not ordered a nationwide lockdown such as those happening in Italy or the UK; reportedly some areas have closed restaurants, sports facilities and limited public gatherings, and Moscow is paying its elderly to stay home.

There is also a system in place to quarantine people crossing the border into Russia, but there are no nationwide restrictions as described in this post. 

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