Policy responses for Ukraine - HSRM

Ukraine


Policy responses for Ukraine

6. Measures in other sectors

6.1 Measures in other sectors

Many MEASURES IN OTHER SECTORS beyond the immediate scope of the health system are being taken to prevent further spread of the virus. This section contains information on many of these areas, including border and travel restrictions and economic and fiscal measures, among others.

Starting at midnight on 17 March 2020, Ukraine blocked all types of traffic across the state border as part of measures to combat the Covid-2019 epidemic. The National Security and Defense Council recommends that Ukrainian citizens refrain from traveling abroad and those who are outside the country return home. Any crossing of the Ukrainian border was banned from 17 March 2020 for foreigners and stateless persons.

Starting from 12:00 a.m. 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine will be suspended for the duration of the movement restrictions for foreigners and stateless persons, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence or fall under separate decisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (e.g. accredited staff of diplomatic missions, consular offices, representative offices of international organizations).

The “emergency situation” was declared as of 25 March 2020, which corresponds with emergency Grade 3 (Grade 1 – “daily functioning”; G2 – “high readiness”; G3 – “emergency situation”; G4 – “state of emergency”). Military forces and resources can only be activated under G4 “state of emergency”.

The Government has tightened border restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus starting from 7 April 2020 and as of 15 April 2020 there are 125 temporary closed crossing points on the state border, 105 in operation, including 18 for road transport. The State Custom Service published an Operational map of the quarantine checkpoints that shows which crossings are closed on the part of Ukraine and on the side of the neighbouring states.  http://www.customs.gov.ua/?p=533&fbclid=IwAR18JEpSS3z0ADInwNyrGZJodR9riFlXrEzwPPCbZX5CWLM-I_SqSG9aPr8 

Restriction measures for people and transport are listed in Section 1.2. Physical distancing. There are no limitations for goods logistics.  Regular updates on internal travel are provided at https://mtu.gov.ua/timeline/Novini.html 

International travel advice can be found at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
http://tripadvisor.mfa.gov.ua/?p=1769 
https://mfa.gov.ua/news/operativna-informaciya-shchodo-zahodiv-yaki-vzhivayutsya-inozemnimi-krayinami-z-protidiyi-rozpovsyudzhennyu-covid-19

The Government is considering introducing subsidies to those citizens who lost jobs during the pandemic. On average, the increase in subsidies for Ukrainians will be 9 USD. The mechanism should work after the adoption of the law on the stabilization fund.
On 17 March, the Parliament adopted amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine, which envisages so-called "tax holidays" for business individuals and enterprises during the quarantine period. On 15 April, the Government has doubled the maximum available loan under the 5-7-9% Available Loans program amounting to UAH 3 mln (USD 0.108 mln) and expanded it with a package of anti-crisis measures to support micro and small businesses.
On 22 April 2020 the Government approved the Procedure for granting and repayment of funds aimed at financing part-time unemployment assistance for the period of quarantine. Payment is extended to cover loss of part of workers' wages as a result of forced reduction of working time due to the suspension (reduction) of activities caused by quarantine. Partial unemployment benefit for the quarantine period is provided for each reduced hour of working time at the rate of two-thirds of the tariff rate (salary). The amount of aid may not exceed the minimum wage established by law.
Starting from 06 May, entrepreneurs working on the simplified taxation system and belonging to the first and second groups of single tax payers, can take the opportunity to receive financial assistance for each child under 10 years during whole period of quarantine and one month after. Assistance will be provided at the request of one of the parents (or guardians) from among private individuals: for children under 6 years of age – UAH 1,779 (USD 65,9) per month; for children aged 6 to 10 years (inclusive) - UAH 2,218 (USD 82,2) per month. For the convenience of citizens, the Ministry of Social Policy has developed and implemented an electronic service on the website, through which everyone can submit an application and assistive documents. The service is also available on the Single portal of public services "Action" (“Diya”).
The Ministry of Education recommended schools and universities to arrange the possibility of distance learning to continue teaching and most educational institutions arranged this. In addition, the Presidential Office and Ministry of Education in collaboration with the NGO “Osvitoria” have launched the nationwide project “All-Ukrainian School Online” for pupils of grade 5-11. The classes have been available since 6 April 2020 on the Ministry of Education’s YouTube channel. Each class also has a TV channel or media resource that will broadcast lessons for those children who are unable to watch them online. Starting from 28 April the nationwide project “All-Ukrainian School Online” is covering broadcasting lessons for pupils of grades 1-4. The program is designed for five weeks and consists of four subjects: Ukrainian language, math, science and art.  
UNICEF in Ukraine and the NGO Smart Education, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, have developed and launched on 05 May a distance biology lessons on coronavirus infection COVID-19.
On 11 April, the WHO and the Ministry of Health presented a Ukrainian version of a children's book on how to combat COVID-19 “My Hero is You”, which is developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychological Support. It is a fairy tale that has been created by over 1,700 children, parents, caregivers, psychologists and teachers from 104 countries. They shared their stories and experience on how they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The book will be printed and distributed to children's cancer hospitals and children's homes in Ukraine.
The Government launched a web-platform to inform about all changes in the educational process implemented through the quarantine period (http://mon-covid19.info).
In particular, it provides information on distance learning, school completion, current year exams etc. The new resource contains key information on changes in the work of kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges; useful information for teachers - on the mode of work, salaries, vacations, tools for distance learning and more.
The Ministry of Social Policy called on local authorities to ensure that during the restriction period the protection of children's rights is being enforced. The Ministry noted that in conditions of forced self-isolation there are significant risks for parents' misconduct, alcohol abuse, drugs use, domestic violence and so on.
On 29 April 2020 the Ministry of Social Policy, together with the Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights, the International Charity Fund “Partnership for Every Child” and the International Center for Development and Leadership, launches a series of webinars on Child Protection and Family Support in the Covid-19 Pandemic. The introductory webinar will be held on 29 April 2020 from 10.00 to 12.00 on the Ministry's Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/MLSP.gov.ua/ and cover the following topics: (i) regulatory and organizational framework for child protection; (ii) an algorithm for monitoring the health of children in families with complex family circumstances and children returned from residential care settings; (iii) visit to the family in quarantine: safety of the specialist.
In order to conduct timely investigations of accidents / acute occupational diseases (COVID-19) in medical and other workers associated with performing professional duties in the context of increased risk of COVID-19 exposure the State Labor Service introduced a hotline for proper counseling to ensure their social protection.
Among the allocated budget to the COVID-19 Fund, supplement allocations have been directed to social protection measures: UAH 29,7 bln (USD 1.07 bln) to the Pension Fund; UAH 19.5 bln (USD 703 mln) to the Ministry of Social Policy expenditures to support people who lost their jobs as the result of COVID-19.
As a part of COVID-19 response, additional allocations were distributed among other sectors: UAH 5.1 mln (USD 0,184 mln) – to the Ministry of Infrastructure to cover the costs of measures related to the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens evacuated from China and Italy; UAH 3 mln (USD 0.108 mln) – to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to cover the costs of measures related to observation of Ukrainian citizens evacuated from China; UAH 4.6 mln (USD  0.166 mln – to the Ministry of Defense to cover the costs of shipping medical products from China; UAH 49.8 mln (USD 1.7 mln) – to the Security Service of Ukraine for the acquisition and implementation of the “Verint NowForce” dispatch and response system necessary to take measures to prevent the spread of acute COVID-19 respiratory disease.

On 8 June, to address the large balance-of-payments and fiscal financing needs, preserve achievements to date, and advance a small set of key structural reforms to ensure that Ukraine is well-poised to return to growth when the crisis ends, the IMF approved an 18-month Stand-by Arrangement (SBA), with total access of about US$5 billion. The approval of the SBA enables the immediate disbursement of about US$2.1 billion.


The Ministry of Economy together and the Food Safety and Consumer Protection Service with involvement of business representatives, have developed guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at facilities for growing, keeping, slaughtering, processing of animal and food production. The recommendations released on 06 May and are based on the WHO guidance COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for Food Businesses.


Additional credits: Dr Elina Dale; Dr Vitalii Stetsyk; Dr Liudmyla Slobodianyk;Mr Artem Skrypnyk;Ms Olga Demeshko; Ms Anastasiya Brylova; Ms Tetiana Dolhova

- As of 29 April, the Government permitted a number of food markets (281 rynok/bazar) all over Ukraine to function while adhering to strict sanitary standards, approved by the State Chief Sanitary Doctor. Violation of those standards will carry severe penalties (even to the closure of markets for a certain period).
- On 06 May, the Government adopted a decision resuming the operation of checkpoints across the state border Rava-Ruska for motor communication and Skadovsk Sea Commercial Port for marine communication.
- As of 11 May, the Government launched the first phase of easing the quarantine and lifted part of quarantine restrictions, particularly: opening parks, squares, recreation areas for visitors; allow beauty salons, hairdressers to operate, but on condition of abiding by certain rules approved by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine,
- As of 13 May, the Government released permission to increase the number of visitors to summer terraces - from two to four people, subjected to social distance and other anti-epidemic recommendations. In addition, groups of up to eight people were allowed to move down the street instead of two
- As of 22 May, the Government moved to the second phase of of easing the quarantine through the modality of “adaptive quarantine” by given the authority to the regional Emergency Commissions to lift restrictions imposed in relation to prevention of COVID-19 depending on the epidemic situation in the region following consideration of all three special (public health) criteria. Lifting restrictions are related to: 1) as of 22 May, the public transport can start working in a regular mode, hotels to reopen, except for their indoor restaurants (besides terraces) and swimming pools; conduct sport events without spectators (with no more than 50 participants) and holding religious services (with no more than 1 person per square meter in the building); 2) starting from 25 May, metro and kindergartens can be re-open; 3) from 1 June, regional railways and bus transportation are expected to resume its operations;  and sports facilities, gyms, fitness centers would reopen (except for classes of more than 10 people); visiting educational institutions will be allowed (conducting classes in groups of not more than 10 people); 4) from 10 June, to provide catering in indoor premises of the restaurants; activities of cultural institutions, including cultural events with participation of not more than 1 person per 5 square meters of the area where the event is held; accommodation services will resume their activity. The Government will consider renewal of air traffic after 15 June. 
- On 22 July, the Government took a decision to extend the adaptive quarantine until 31 August with implification of epidemiological zoning strategy entered into force as of 01 August which setting four epidemiological zones (“green”, “yellow”, “orange”, and “red”) depending on the COVID-19 situation in each region. The “yellow”, “orange” and “red” COVID-19 risk levels indicate a degree of the significant spread of COVID-19. When the region is considering a «green» zone the following restrictions should be introduced: wearing masks in transport, public buildings etc.; carrying out mass events with the number of participants no higher than a person per 5 sq. m; holding events in cinemas with no more than 50% of overall facility capacity; the number of passengers in public transport must be equal to the number of seats. “Yellow” zone implies the restrictions of the «green» zone and forbidden of visiting social protection institutions.
“Orange” zone forsees restrictions of the «yellow» zone and prohibition of the activity of accommodation facilities, entertainment centers, gyms, cultural institutions; planned hospitalization is not allowed; prohibition of children recreation facilities activity; carrying out mass events with a limited number of participants (a person per 20 sq.m and not more than 100 people). “Red” zone covers restrictions of the «Orange» zone and prohibition of: public transport operations; visiting educational institutions; entertainment centers activity.

On May 27, the Government presented the State Program aimed to stimulate the economy to overcome the negative impact of COVID-19. The purpose of the Program is to introduce a comprehensive system of measures for stabilization and sustainable development of Ukraine's economy, increase employment by maintaining existing jobs and stimulating the creation of new jobs. The program provides for the implementation of about 230 measures. A roadmap was formed on the proposals of ministries, regions, think tanks, associations, businesses and leading experts. The initiatives are aimed at improving access to finance, access to markets, improving regulation, promoting modernization, sustainable development of industries and combating unemployment. The program contains 3 sections. Section 1 contains short-term initiatives in response to COVID-19: ensuring the safe functioning of the economy; support of branches of economy and protection of their goods, works and/or services from their import alternatives supplied to the territory of Ukraine, taking into account international agreements and obligations of Ukraine. To support the economy, measures were developed for 6 sectors: industry, agriculture, energy, transport and infrastructure, information and communication technologies, services domain (trade, hotels and restaurants, education, creative industries, personal services).
The support for sectors of the economy should be accompanied by the implementation of general functional measures that would strengthen sectoral initiatives. Functional areas include SMEs support, stimulation of international trade, investment attraction, innovation development, labor market development, reasonable regulation of economic activity.
On 10 June, the Government decided to provide the Unemployment Insurance Fund with an additional UAH 2,972 billion resource to pay unemployment compensation on a non-refundable basis. To date, a financial resource worth UAH 1,198 million has been received, which is 94% of the planned sum. This has allowed the timely payment of unemployment benefits for April-May.

On June 25, the Government adopted several decisions related to COVID-19: (i) the control of the compliance with the quarantine measures (mask regime, physical distancing, disinfection) will be tightened; (ii) amendments to the resolution on the adaptive quarantine were approved and envisage the following measures:
- the cinemas will not resume activity until the 1st of July;
- administrative services centers will arrange their working schedule independently;
- the possibility to terminate the self-isolation or observation for foreigners who crossed the state border and/or checkpoints from the temporarily occupied territory in case of a negative PCR-test for COVID-19 taken after crossing the state border or entry points;
- foreigners crossing the border of Ukraine should obtaine the insurance certificate by an insurance company registered in Ukraine or a foreign insurance company with a representative office in Ukraine, covering the COVID-19 treatment and observation.
According the new procedure for self-isolation, some categories of persons are exempted from the requirement to carry out self-isolation in connection with the crossing of the checkpoints of entry into the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions; Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and departure from them. In particular, the following (if there are no grounds to believe that they were in contact with a person with COVID-19):
- Mission staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross;
- staff of diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine, in particular those that monitor the situation and deliver humanitarian aid to the population living in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol;
- participants of external independent assessment and entrance examinations, in particular for admission through the educational centers "Crimea - Ukraine" and "Donbass - Ukraine" at the invitation of the institution of higher (professional higher) education, together with one person accompanying each of them, if there is no reason to believe that they were in contact with a person with COVID-19.

Starting from 25 June all foreigners travelling to Ukraine are obliged to obtain the insurance certificate by an insurance company registered in Ukraine or a foreign insurance company with a representative office in Ukraine, covering COVID-19 treatment and observation.

On 27 August, the Government took a decision to introduce temporary restrictions for foreigners on entry into Ukraine (Resolution # 757) starting from 00:00 on 28 August 28 to 00:00 on 28 September. The following categories of foreign citizens are not subject to the ban on entry to Ukraine: persons who are spouses or children of Ukrainian citizens; those with an official valid work permit for Ukraine; technical specialists arriving in Ukraine at the invitation of Ukrainian enterprises; those arriving in Ukraine to study at the Higher Educational Institutions; those serving in the Armed Forces; those having a temporary or permanent residency permit for Ukraine; heads or members of foreign official delegations, staff members of international organizations and their accompanying persons entering Ukraine at the invitation of the President, Verkhovna Rada, Cabinet of Ministers, Office of the President, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; drivers and/or crew members of freight vehicles, buses on regular  international routes, aircraft, sea and river ships, trains and locomotives; cultural figures arriving at the invitation of cultural institutions as well as one accompanying person for each of them; athletes arriving in Ukraine to compete in official sporting events, as well as their accompanying persons; those transporting hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation; those arriving for treatment at healthcare facilities of Ukraine.

The entry restrictions to foreigners and to whom restrictions do not apply and what documents can confirm the purpose of the trip could be found under the following link: https://www.kmu.gov.ua/en/news/zaborona-vyizdu-inozemcyam-hto-pidpadaye-pid-viklyuchennya-ta-yaki-dokumenti-mozhut-pidtverditi-cil-poyizdki

Starting form 28 September, foreigners and stateless persons are allowed to pass through the State border at regular checkpoints. The procedure for crossing the State border of Ukraine foresees: (i) an insurance policy (certificate) issued by an insurance company registered in Ukraine or a foreign insurance company with a representative office in Ukraine or a contractual relationship and covers the costs associated with the treatment of COVID-19, observation, and is valid for the period of stay in Ukraine; (ii) travelers arriving in Ukraine from countries with a high prevalence of COVID-19 should undergo self-isolation (except for those who have a negative result of PCR-testing for COVID -19, which was carried out not more than 48 hours before crossing the border).

The State Border Service of Ukraine released information regarding crossing the state border, administrative border, line of contact during quarantine.

On 22 June, the Ministry of Education announced that the State Commission for Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergencies made a decision: the epidemiological situation allows for an external evaluation from June 25 to July 17. At the same time, the Ministry of Education and regional centers for quality assessment of education, testing points are ready to conduct external evaluation for 2020 in safe conditions in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine.

On 03 September, the Ministry of Education and Science released a brief on how to act if there is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case in a higher education institution. A letter with recommendations was sent to higher education institutions. On 09 September, together with MOH presented a Collection of normative documents on the work of educational institutions for the period of quarantine. The collection contains regulations that should be followed by schools and contains recommendations for the introduction of blended learning in institutions of higher education. Also, The Ministry has developed instructional and methodological recommendations for the organization of education of persons with special educational needs in schools for the 2020/2021 school year. In particular, the priorities of the work of inclusive resource centers and the organization of inclusive education in the regions that fall into the "red" zone of epidemic danger.