The majority-Muslim republic, located some 1,000km east of Moscow, is close to the border with Kazakhstan. Its head, Radiy Khabirov, says the documents will also be given to those who have recovered from Covid-19, and used to allow entry into sporting and cultural events, as well as religious ceremonies.

“The passport will be given to those who have been ill and now have antibodies, and those who have been vaccinated,” said Khabirov. “And, of course, this is an incentive for people to get the vaccine.”

Issued through the local government’s online portal, the permit will also come with discounts from local companies, including sports clubs and retail chains.

“The presence of antibodies will be registered in the Ministry of Health’s system, then it will be automatically forwarded to the portal of public services,” said Alexander Sidyakin, Khabirov’s chief of staff. “[The passport] can be stored on a smartphone or printed from the website,” he said.

Last week, Valery Limarenko, the acting governor of Russia’s far-eastern Sakhalin Region, revealed that the region would be introducing a mask exemption for those inoculated against Covid-19. Those vaccinated will be given a badge to wear to indicate their mask-free status.

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