Ukraine shuts borders to foreigners until October to contain COVID-19 spread
Ukraine will close its borders to foreign citizens for a month starting on Aug. 29, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced during a government meeting on Aug. 26. The ban will last until Sep. 28.
Foreigners with permanent residency permits and refugees will be exempt from the ban, as will transit passengers who can confirm that they will leave the country in no more than two days.
The ban also will not apply to citizens invited to the country by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or members of diplomatic missions and international organizations.
Cargo drivers, airplane cabin crews and patients who come to Ukraine for treatment are still allowed to cross the border. Students of Ukrainian universities, athletes and cultural workers who have an invitation from Ukrainian institutions will also be allowed in.
According to Shmyhal, in some cases, it will be Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service officers who will make the decision on whether to allow foreigners into the country.
The entry ban follows the government’s decision to extend the coronavirus quarantine until Oct. 31 due to the negative dynamic of infection in the country.
Ukraine’s regions will still be divided into green, yellow, orange and red levels of severity of the spread of COVID-19. However, starting on Sept. 1, the government will tighten the quarantine restrictions in the green level regions, where the virus is spreading more slowly. In these regions, the government will ban discos, nightclubs and restaurants where people gather to dance or organize mass events.
Concerts will also be banned. However, cultural institutions whose business has been focused on concerts for the last year can still organize them, Shmyhal said.