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26 Aug, 2020 14:47

The world re-opens, Ukraine closes: Kiev to shut borders again to foreigners due to worsening coronavirus situation

The world re-opens, Ukraine closes: Kiev to shut borders again to foreigners due to worsening coronavirus situation

As most of Europe is reopening, Ukraine is bucking the trend. With the country’s Covid-19 situation continuing to deteriorate, Kiev has decided to close the borders to most foreigners for a whole month.

Like many other countries on the continent, Ukraine initially shut down in March, re-opening three months later.

Speaking at a government meeting, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal described the decision as “protecting fellow citizens” and “showing responsibility to foreign partners,” citing the severity of the disease in the country.

The border will be closed from midnight on August 29 to September 29, during which time non-citizens without a residence permit will be refused entry to the country. Exceptions will be made for members of humanitarian or diplomatic missions, as well as other specific categories of foreigners.

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Ukraine’s border closure was unanimously supported by the entire cabinet. Furthermore, Shmygal announced that the country’s emergency committee was considering banning mass events in celebration of Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah, due to begin the evening of September 18.

Due to a deteriorating healthcare system, Ukraine’s population is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. According to the World Bank, the country has a GDP per capita of just $3,659, making it the poorest country in Europe.

According to official government figures, Ukraine has 110,085 laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 2,318 have died. While many European countries saw their worst days earlier in the summer, coronavirus is currently at its worst in Ukraine, with over 1,500 cases per day in the last week.

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