Moscow law office "Kovalev Tugushi & partners"

Clarifications of Rospotrebnadzor on the status of recommendations aimed at prevention of spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19)

Rospotrebnadzor published a Letter “On fines of Rospotrebnadzor” No. 09-11169-2020-40 dated July 22, 2020. The Letter contains a response to the appeal of citizens (legal entities) regarding the status of Rospotrebnadzor’s recommendations on the prophylaxis of coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
Rospotrebnadzor concludes that its recommendations are methodological and aimed to facilitate various entities in the process of preventing the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
Rospotrebnadzor recognizes that there is no liability for non-compliance with the recommendations, since they “are not a regulatory legal act, do not contain legal provisions and do not entail establishment, alteration or cancelation the rights and obligations of citizens, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, as they are of advisory nature”.
Such recommendations, among others, include:
These recommendations contain provisions regarding the order of organizating the work of enterprises in coronavirus infection (COVID-19) conditions, including the organization of an input filter at the enterprise, on limiting contacts between co-workers, on the procedure and scheduling the disinfection, on the procedure of informing employees about coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, a number of Rospotrebnadzor’s documents are statutory and contain mandatory rules of conduct for business entities. So, sanitary and epidemiological rules of SP 3.1.3597-20 “Prevention of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19)” were approved by the Decree of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation No. 15 dated May 22, 2020. This document establishes requirements for a set of organizational, prophylactic, sanitary- and anti-epidemic measures, which ensure the prevention of the occurrence and spread of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) cases. The sanitary and epidemiological rules SP 3.1.3597-20 specify measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), including monitoring the occurrence of diseases, collecting and analyzing the information received, epidemiological diagnostics, forecasting, and hygienic education of the population.
Non-compliance with these rules in the context of restrictive measures related to coronavirus infection (COVID-19) may entail administrative liability under part 2 of art. 6.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation:
  • a fine ranging from 15 to 40 thousand rubles for citizens;
  • a fine ranging from 50 to 150 thousand rubles for public individuals;
  • a fine ranging from 200 to 500 thousand rubles or administrative suspension of activity for up to 90 days for legal entities.
Therefore, the letter of Rospotrebnadzor dated July 22, 2020 No. 09-11169-2020-40 contains an important legal reasoning on the absence of fines for failure to comply with the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor. It should be taken into account that non-compliance with sanitary norms and rules might in some cases cause administrative liability.
Ksenia Stepanischeva Sergey Truschin Analytics 2020