The Coronavirus comes to Ukraine: Latest Updates

Editorial Team Immigration, Law, Travel

As of May 26, 2020 Ukraine has recorded a total of confirmed 21,584 cases of COVID-19 with 644 deaths and 7,575 persons who have recovered, making Ukraine the country with one of the lowest number of confirmed cases in Europe. 

However, due to lack of testing kits in the country, lack of testing protocols in the regions of Ukraine and statistics in the neighboring countries (e.g. Poland: reported 21,631+ cases; Turkey: reported 157,814+; Russia: reported 353,427+), it is likely that this number is underestimated. 

Current Measures to Stop the Spread of the COVID-19

Currently, in Ukraine the following quarantine limitations are in force (updated on May 16):

  1. From 12th of March till 22th of June 2020 Ukraine has introduced quarantine all over the country;
  2. For population it is prohibited to:
    1. visit public buildings/premises and public transport without a protective mask or respirator (can be self-made);
    2. visit public places without identity documents;
    3. visiting educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, universities etc);
    4. mass events and gatherings of more than 10 people together (including cultural, educational, entertainment, religious, sport, advertising, social and others). Exceptions include those which are necessary for maintaining work of state authorities, local government bodies, securing sanitary and anti-epidemic measures or sports teams training of olympic, non olympic, national types of sport and professional sport clubs;
    5. leave without permission places of isolation or observation (in case an obligation for isolation or observation was imposed on the person based on valid grounds – see below).
  3. Certain businesses have to temporarily close for visitors, including:
    1. indoor restaurants & cafes
    2. hotels
    3. entertainment zone and food courts in shopping malls
    4. sport clubs and fitness centers
    5. theaters, concert halls and other entertainment activities
  4. As an exception, it is allowed to open (providing the staff and visitors wear masks and other individual means of protection, and subject to certain limits of visitors for square meters):
    • summer terraces & home delivery of restaurants and cafes;
    • hotels which provide accommodation to medical staff or persons who are on mandatory observation;
    • work of museums, open-air museums and conservation areas with OR without accepting visitors (based on decision of owner or regulatory body);
    • trainings in theater, circus, concert organizations, performance ensembles (with wearing sanitary self-protection means and up to 50 persons together) but without audience (visitors);
    • work of enterprise engaged in film and video-shooting with not more than 50 people together;
    • some others as listed in law (as updated)
  5. Ukraine banned all regular passenger transportation (including buses, route taxi, trains, airlines). Exceptions include:
    • automobiles (light vehicles), including personal transport, rented/service light vehicles and taxi;
    • public transport, which will service only those who have special passes (employees of enterprises operating in critically important spheres of life). However, the metro subways in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro are closed for everyone;
    • special purpose trains and flights within Ukraine and abroad (subject to individual approvals by the Ministry of Infrastructure and additionally, in case of international trains/flights, –  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cross Border Service of Ukraine).  
  6. Utility companies are not allowed to cut utilities for debts;
  7. Government allowed local authorities to limit the list of administrative services which are provided depending on the epidemiological situation in each region.

Self-Isolation Obligation

According to Anti-Covid-19 Regulation, the Ukrainian Government has defined the following cases when isolation is mandatory:

  1. Persons who had contact with COVID-19 positive (except medical staff who was wearing necessary individual protection means); 
  2. Persons who are suspected of being COVID-positive OR are confirmed as COVID-positive but do not need hospitalization;
  3. All persons above 60 years old. Exceptions include those who work in critically important spheres of life.

Self-isolation obligation is imposed by a doctor with indicating the term of self-isolation.

Mandatory Observation (Hospitalization)

According to Anti-Covid-19 Regulation, the Ukrainian Government has defined the following cases when person is obliged to stay in specifically designated isolation hospitals:

  • Persons who cross border of Ukraine. Exceptions include:
    • persons who agreed to Self-Isolate using the mobile application “Act At Home”; or
    • employees of diplomatic missions and their families as listed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, drivers and crew members of cargo transport vehicles AND providing there are no evidence that they contacted COVID-positive persons);
  • Persons who are subject to self-isolation obligation but declared that they are not able to self-isolate;
  • Persons who twice violated self-isolation requirements (except persons above 60);
  • Persons who had contact with COVID-19 positive persons and refused from medical inspection OR persons who have COVID-19 symptoms;

Term of observation – 14 calendar days.

Liability for Violation of Quarantine Rules

According to art. 44-3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine, person who violates quarantine rules is subject to a penalty in the amount of UAH 17,000-UAH 34,000 (roughly USD 600-USD 1200).

Additionally, according to art. 325 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, violation of sanitary rules and regulations for the prevention of
infectious diseases and mass poisoning, providing such violation led OR could lead to spread of such diseases, are subject to a penalty of UAH 17,000-UAH 51,000 OR an arrest for up to six months OR
imprisonment. In case the above actions led to death of people, the guilty person is subject to 5-8 year of imprisonment.

Travel Limitations to and from Ukraine

Entering Ukraine

  • all Ukrainian citizens, residence permit holders can freely return to Ukraine via checkpoints at the state border on foot or by car. Additionally, you can check the schedule of SkyUp flights OR contact Ukrainian Embassy at the place of your stay for a non-regular flight to reach home.
  • Foreign persons  (including Ukrainian visa holders) who DO NOT have residence permit in Ukraine are not allowed to enter Ukraine before the end of quarantine. 

Leaving Ukraine

  • While Ukrainians are strongly recommended to avoid unnecessary travels abroad, Ukraine has not introduced any restrictions on leaving the country (neither for Ukrainian citizens, nor for foreigners). However, note that the country of destination may have restrictions in entering OR mandatory quarantine/observation rules, so you are well advised to check them before planning your trip.
  • Additionally, as of 17th of March, 2020, Ukraine has stopped regular passenger services, so you will not be able to leave Ukraine by regular plane, train or bus.
  • Foreigners, who are currently in Ukraine and would like to leave back home, are advised to contact their country’s diplomatic services. Some of the Embassies are organizing special-purpose flights to bring their citizens home.
  • Furthermore, you can check the schedule of special purpose SkyUp flights.

For more information and answers to FAQ, please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Visa / Temporary Residence Permit Expiry Issues

Please note that according to Law of Ukraine № 530-IX dated 17.03.2020 «On amendments to some legal acts of Ukraine, aimed to prevent the emerging and spread of the coronavirus infection (COVID-19)», foreigners who due to quarantine:

  •  have not been able to leave Ukraine or apply for prolongation of their visa in Ukraine (and overstayed); AND/OR
  • extend/exchange their residence permit, 
  • will not be penalized for violation of immigration legislation. 

Please note that the above rule applies only in case the foreigner stayed legally in Ukraine as of the beginning of quarantine (12th of March).

Additionally, please note that for the period of quarantine, Ukrainian Embassies and Consulate Services do not accept visa applications and do not issue visas. 

Terms of Application for Administrative Services are Extended for the Period of Quarantine

According to the above Law № 530-IX, for the period of the quarantine, the time frames for applications for administrative services*, shall be put on hold. *Administrative services include, among others, work permit application, residence permit application and many others government services to population and businesses. Once quarantine is terminated, these periods shall continue, taking into account the time which elapsed before commencement of the quarantine. 

Additionally, according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine # 259 dated 18.03.2020 (in force starting from 09.04.2020), foreigners who failed to extend timely their visa or temporary/permanent residence permit due to the implementation of quarantine, will be able to do that within up to 30 days upon expiry of quarantine.

However, the Immigration service currently does not accept documents for issue / extension of residence permits when application was made with violation of the terms specified by law (e.g. not later than 15 business days before visa D/residence permit expiry).

According to verbal information from Immigration Service of Ukraine, they will start accepting applications, filed with a delay, as soon as quarantine is over.

For more information, please refer to the website of the Immigration Service of Ukraine

Where to Make Test of COVID-19

Currently, in government clinics tests for COVID-19 can be done based on the doctor’s prescription only (in case you have respective symptoms). However, in certain cases even persons with all the symptoms are refused to be tested due to lack of testing kits in hospitals of Ukraine.

ContactUkraine team contacted private clinics as well and most of them do not make coronavirus tests. 

However, you can make COVID-19 tests in one of the following private clinics in Kyiv (subject to fee, prior appointment and tests availability):

  1. Dobrobut Clinic, tel. +38 097 495 28 88 (voluntary test possible). Price – UAH 3,020
  2. Medikom Clinic, tel. +38 044 233 65 76
  3. Boris Clinic, tel. +38 044 238 0000
  4. Zdravitsa, tel. +38 067 446 67 42 (voluntary test possible). Price – UAH 3,500
  5. Nova Clinic, tel. +38 044 541 1145  (voluntary test possible). Price – UAH 3,000

Hospitals which Accept COVID-positive patients in Kyiv, Ukraine

Please note that according to par. 2 of the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 19 March 2014 № 121, foreigners and stateless persons who temporarily reside or stay in the territory of Ukraine receive medical assistance on a paid basis.

For more information on the medical services related to COVID-19 for foreigners who are temporary living or staying in Ukraine, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Healthcare, persons who have COVID-19 symptoms, have to follow the below procedure: 

  • In case you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should call your family doctor for help and treatment prescriptions. In case you do not have one, you have to call one of the hotlines listed by the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine (depending on your location). In Kyiv the hotline number is:  +38044 235 0101 or 1583.
  • In case of serious COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. pain in breast, high fever, faint, short breath, diarrhea), you should call emergency hotline 103.

In case of need, you will be either assigned a prescription for treatment and isolation at home OR in emergency cases – you are supposed to be placed in one of the government infectious diseases hospitals of Ukraine, which are designated for COVID-19 treatment in each city and region of Ukraine (depending on your location). Please note that currently private clinics do not accept COVID-positive people for treatment.

Below you can find a list of government hospitals in Kyiv, Ukraine who accept persons who are suspected to be COVID-positive for testing and treatment:

  1. Aleksandrovskaya Clinical Hospital, address: 39/1, Shelkovichnaya Street, Kyiv, tel. +38 044 287 74 97; 
  2. Kiev City Clinical Hospital No. 4, address: Solomenskaya Street, 17, Kyiv, tel. +38 044 249 78 46;
  3. Kiev City Clinical Hospital No. 9, address: 1 Ryzhska Street, Kyiv, tel. +38 044 440 03 77;
  4. Kiev City Children’s Clinical Hospital No. 1, address: Bogatyrskaya Street, 30, tel. +38 044 201 32 49;
  5. Kiev City Children’s Clinical Hospital No. 2, address: Alisher Navoi Avenue, 3,  tel. +38 044 540 96 85;
  6. Kiev Сity Children’s Сlinical infectious diseases Hospital, address: Degtyarivska street, 23, tel. +38 044 483 38 41;
  7. Kiev City Center for Reproductive and Perinatal Medicine, address: Heroiv Stalingradu Avenue, 16, tel. +38 044 411 87 54.

Please note that you are not advised to visit them on your own. If needed, the relevant medical emergency team will bring you to one of the designated infectious diseases hospitals (depending on your location and place availability).

Alternatively, if you are a foreigner, you can contact your embassy or consular service representation in Ukraine (as COVID-19 symptoms are considered as an emergency case). 

Coronavirus Outbreak

Just to remind, the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in China’s Hubei province, in the late 2019. Already in January-February 2020 COVID-19 grew by several thousand new cases per day in China as well as started a rapid spread in Italy, Iran, South Korea and all over the world. 

On 11th of March, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

As of 19th of May 2020, there are more than 4.8 million confirmed cases in 200+ countries worldwide with 319,031 people dead due to the disease and 1,801,461 people who have recovered according to data Johns Hopkins University

Governments of all the countries and international organizations are fighting the unknown disease, doing their best efforts to minimize deaths, extend healthcare capacity as well as study the new virus and find effective treatment and vaccination. An updated list of COVID-19 protective measures of foreign countries you can find on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The most popular protective measures worldwide include isolation requirements, social-distancing and wearing respiratory masks in public, closing of borders and ban of travels. Additionally, many countries introduced regimes of emergency situations, reorganization of businesses to healthcare needs, and decided to assign financial aid to the population and businesses. The COVID-19 is truly one of the most unexpected and harmful disasters for the last century.

Announcement of Quarantine in Ukraine

Ukraine was one of the first countries in Europe, who decided to close its borders and implement quarantine measures to prevent rapid spread of the virus. 

On 11th of March 2020, the Ukrainian Government has adopted the Resolution # 211 “On Prevention of Spread of Covid-2019 on the territory of Ukraine”, according to which quarantine regime was implemented from 12th of March till 3rd of April 2020 (note: later quarantine extended till 24th of April 2020, 11th of May, and then – till 22th of May 2020). As part of the above Resolution, the Government decided to close all the schools, universities and other educational institutions as well as prohibit public gatherings with more than 200 people for the period of quarantine. It is interesting that on 11th of March, 2020, Ukraine had only 3 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Additionally, on the 13th of March 2020 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has adopted an Order # № 288-р to close a large number of its airports and sea, river, auto-transport, rail and pedestrian border checkpoints. 

In addition, on the 13th of March 2020, by the Order of the President of Ukraine and Resolution of the National Security Council of Ukraine Ukraine has adopted a decision:

  1. Starting from the 12:00 AM March 17, 2020, to close checkpoints crossing the Ukrainian state border for regular aviation, rail and bus service. Ukrainian citizens were asked to return home from holidays not later than 17th of March.
  2. Starting from the 12:00 AM March 16, 2020 entry into the territory of Ukraine for foreigners and stateless persons has been prohibited. Exceptions include temporary and permanent residence permit holders. Additionally, the permission to enter Ukraine can be provided under a separate resolution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to  the accredited staff of diplomatic missions, consular offices and representative offices of international organizations.
  3. Those Ukrainians, who were not able to reach home before 17th of March, had to contact the Ukrainian consulates in the country of their stay OR register via a special FRIEND-system (a special online platform introduced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine). Gathering people in groups, Ukrainian Government has arranged tens of special flights in order to bring Ukrainians back home from all over the world.  

Starting from 18th of March special flights were scheduled from Kazakhstan (Almaty), Poland (Warsaw), Israel (Tel Aviv), Austria (Vienna), Lithuania (Vilnius), Qatar (Doha), France (Paris), Germany (Frankfurt) and some other places. During the period 15-25 March more than 82,000 Ukrainian citizens were able to return to Ukraine with the help of the Ukraine’s diplomatic institutions. Once here in Ukraine, the passengers were supposed to self-quarantine for 14 days.

On 25th of March 2020 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has announced an emergency situation on the territory of Ukraine due to the spread of COVID-19.

With the spread of the virus around the world and in Ukraine, the above Regulation # 211 was amended several times and new more severe restrictive measures were implemented.

Additionally, Ukrainian Parliament has approved number of laws to assist businesses and population to cope with quarantine hardships. For more information, please refer to our blogpost here.

Starting from May, 11, the Ukrainian Government decided to relax a number of quarantine restrictions, but extended quarantine till May, 22.

On the 20th of May, the Ukrainian Government adopted a decision to extend quarantine till June 22, however further relaxed number of limitations and allowed to relax certain limitation on regional level depending on the COVID-19 situation (see updated list of limitations above).

Summing up

As people say, it is the difficult situations that teach you the most valuable lessons about life. We hope that Ukrainian Government will make the right conclusions from this situation and in future pay more attention to strengthening the healthcare system in Ukraine.

ContactUkraine team wishes you and your beloved ones strong health and patience at this difficult time.

Should you have any further questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.