Divorce ban adds to virus woes for married Russians out of love

Women clean an empty square in Grozny as residents stay home amid a sharp increase in coronavirus cases. (AP pic)

MOSCOW: Russian couples who decide their marriage has run its road may have to wait before going their separate ways as part of government measures to halt the coronavirus epidemic.

The Justice Ministry told regional authorities around the country that they should stop registering weddings and divorces until after June 1, according to a statement on its website.

Russia has a high rate of marital breakdown with as many as 60% of marriages ending in divorce.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday suggested a countrywide lockdown after Russia’s two biggest cities, Moscow and St Petersburg, ordered residents to stay home amid a sharp increase in coronavirus cases.

In the capital, city hall is planning to make residents get a QR-code each time they leave their homes, even to take out the garbage, according to Kommersant.

Family planning is already on some consumers’ minds amid concern about the possible length of quarantine during the crisis.

Russian internet retailer Ozon.ru saw condom sales increase by nearly 50% in mid-March as employers began to tell their staff to work from home.

However, the temporary ban on movement may not serve as a balm to relationships when couples are forced to spend all their time together.

As China eases its coronavirus-related restrictions, many regions are seeing a surge in divorces and backlogs at government offices to grant the motions.