MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian food delivery service Delivery Club has started offering Moscow residents temporary tattoos of QR codes, needed for entry into restaurants and bars, to try and encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and support the sector.
Muscovites need to show a QR code that proves they have had a vaccine, a negative test or immunity to be able to sit inside at cafes or bars but can still sit on outdoor terraces until Aug. 1.
Russia is battling a surge in coronavirus cases that authorities have blamed on the more infectious Delta variant and a slow rate of vaccinations. The government coronavirus task force reported 786 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the most confirmed in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said the situation is beginning to stabilise in Moscow, which reported 3,966 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday out of 23,827 new infections nationwide.
Delivery Club said it was working with Everink Tattoo, a startup that produces and sells temporary tattoos, on the initiative that it hopes could give bars, cafes and restaurants a boost and remind people of the importance of getting vaccinated.
There are six different designs of the temporary tattoos, which last for two weeks and are water-resistant, said Delivery Club, part of a joint venture between Russia's largest lender, Sberbank, and internet firm Mail.Ru.
"With our temporary tattoos, we want to defuse the current situation a bit, and along the way diversify and make the process of presenting QR codes at city institutions more interesting," Delivery Club said in a statement.
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)