On 22 May, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health issued guidelines to further ease the COVID-19 lockdown which has been in place since 11 March, having been eased on 12 May. The guidelines are to be applied on a regional basis based on the epidemic situation in the region.
As of 24 May, eight Ukrainian regions did not meet these criteria: Volyn, Rivnenska, Lvivska, Zakarpatska, Chernivetska, Kyivska, Dnipropetrovska, Luhanska, and Donetska oblasts. The capital city of Kyiv got in with a squeeze.
For a region to have its lockdown eased:
- infection rates in the last 7 days must be below 12 people per 100,000 citizens;
- bed occupancy in health facilities designated for hospitalization of patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases should be less than 50%;
- the average number of PCR tests should be more than 12 per 100,000 citizens in the past seven days.
The quarantine will be eased in phases. The following will be allowed once again:
Starting on May 22:
- All public transportation, intercity bus transportation, except metro systems and inter-regional transportation
- Hotels (excluding restaurants and gyms)
- Church services (no more than 1 person per 10m2)
- Sporting events without spectators (up to 50 participants)
Starting on May 25:
- Daycare centers
- Metro systems
Starting on June 1:
- Sports gyms and education facilities (group classes up to 10 people)
- Inter-regional rail travel
- Inter-regional bus transportation
Starting on June 10:
- Inside seating at restaurants and coffee shops
- Cultural institutions
- Cultural events (up to 1 person per 5m2)
Starting on June 15:
Mass events with more than 10 participants, shopping malls, marshrutkas, taking off masks in public places, theaters and movie theaters, more than 4 people in restaurant outdoor seating etc. are prohibited
No desired fall in COVID-19 epidemic – Health Minister
The quarantine is being eased despite overall COVID-19 dynamics being less than desirable, according to Health Minister Maksym Stepanov, who said on 24 May that infection rates are not falling that much.
Rates of new infections have been fluctuating between 400-500 new daily cases for the last month, with daily death rates fluctuating between 8 and 20.
As of 24 May, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ukraine was 20 896, with 13 261 of them being active cases, 7 108 recoveries, and 617 deaths.
19.4% of all people infected with COVID-19 were healthcare workers, which is one of the highest ratios in the world. 7.3% were children.
Ukraine had been roughly following Poland’s trajectory of infections, but since the last month or so, infection rates have been growing at a larger rate.
However, Ukraine still remains one of the least COVID-19-hit nations in Europe, at least according to official data, after Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania.
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