Arkivfoto: Emil Filtenborg.

Most shops will be closed from Friday and for three weeks, says the Kyiv mayor. 

Seventy percent of the Covid-19 beds in Kyiv is occupied, and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko finds it necessary to react and is introducing a stricter quarantine. From 00:00 on March 20, a three-week quarantine will be introduced, where all cultural institutions such as cinemas, theaters, museums, concert halls, and shopping centers will be closed.

“To stop the spread of the disease, the city’s emergency commission has made the following decision: from 00:00 on March 20, i.e., on the night from Friday to Saturday, Kyiv introduces strict quarantine restrictions,” said Klitschko, according to Ukrinform, pointing out that Kyiv had 1,092 new Covid-cases in the past day. 

Only grocery stores, pharmacies, and shops selling household goods and hygiene products will be allowed to stay open. Bars, Cafes, and restaurants are only allowed to sell takeaway, and public transport will operate with only 50 percent capacity. 

“Filling stations will work in compliance with strict measures and without the work of cafes. Hairdressers and beauty salons will work by previous appointment, like fitness centers and gyms, apart from group classes,” said the Mayor and added that kindergartens will remain open, but schools will use digital solutions. 

Not nationwide – yet

Ukraine had 15,053 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, which is the highest this year. There have been 267 casualties in the past day. Despite the spike in cases, Ukraine is not going to introduce a nationwide quarantine at this point. 

“I don’t think we need a nationwide tough quarantine now if more attention is paid to the quarantine curbs that are in effect in the regions to prevent the situation from reaching the red level. If a region is already at this level, it is important to comply with the rules introduced by the Health Ministry,” said Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov to Ukraine’s TSN TV news service.

Instead, he urges everyone to comply with the current quarantine. Despite the statement by Stepanov, the newly introduced quarantine in Kyiv is expected to put some pressure on the government to act. Also, Lviv has decided to introduce a strict quarantine.

“It is a hard but extremely necessary decision by the emergency situations commission. (…) The dynamics of hospitalization of critically ill patients do not go down. We must do everything necessary to prevent the collapse of the city’s healthcare system. This is the time, during which we will be able to equip more beds in hospitals and clinics. It is also the only way to break the chain of the spread of the disease,” said the Lviv mayor.