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Ukraine Closes Borders To All Tourists After Surge in Cases

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Ukraine is shutting its borders for all tourism and foreign arrivals from August 29 to at least September 28, to help curb rising cases throughout the nation.

ukraine subway during pandemic
Passengers in subway trains ride in protective masks in accordance with the requirements of health measures.

“In order to prevent the second wave of COVID-19 in Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs proposes introducing amendments to Cabinet of Ministers resolution No. 641 of July 22. The draft provides for a temporary ban on entry into the country for foreigners and stateless persons, except for certain categories of persons. It also adjusts the order for persons crossing checkpoints on the contact line  and the administrative border with the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and specifies the category of persons subject to self-isolation.”

– said the Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov 

ukraine closes border

There will be some exceptions to the ban, but not for general tourists and visitors, who will be denied entry as of August 29.

Ukraine has been a haven for couples separated by travel bans, as they have been allowing visitors from almost every nation worldwide, albeit with different entry requirements like PCR testing for arrivals from high-risk areas.

Travel Off Path has been seeing a huge trend in American travelers using Ukraine as a meeting place for reuniting with loved ones effected by travel bans throughout Europe, but will now find themselves locked out of Ukraine as well.

ukraine re-closes borders for tourists

Ukraine has seen a ‘second-wave’ surge in cases since reopening for tourism back in June, which has prompted the government to seal up the country, stopping most foreign arrivals.

ukraine daily case numbers
Credit: Worldometers

The ban coming into effect on Saturday will stop tourists from all countries, even low-risk nations, from entering Ukraine. Any traveler with upcoming flights or hotel bookings past August 29 should contact their airline and accommodation provider to cancel itineraries.

The border closure will include all foreigners entering by both land and air.

kyiv airport
Masked people at the Kiev airport

Exceptions to the ban

Here are the types of passengers into Ukraine who will not be affected by the new ban, coming into effect on August 29:

  • Permanent residents of Ukraine
  • Diplomats on political visits
  • Passengers in transit with proof on onward travel
  • Servicemen in the Ukrainian Armed Forces
  • Students with valid educational visas
  • Medical tourism visitors with surgeries/treatments in Ukraine
  • Persons invited by government
  • Athletes in official sport competitions held in the country
  • Airline crew
lviv Ukraine
Lviv, Ukraine

The government of Ukraine may still impose PCR testing and/or quarantines on each of the arriving passengers on the above approved list to limit the risk of news cases being introduced into the community.

The Prime Minister is expected to publish this resolution with more details on the entry of approved travelers on August 27th.

sings in ukraine during covid
entrance to an office building discouraging handshakes during the epidemic

When will tourism resume again?

General tourism and foreign arrivals will be halted on August 29, with the ban lasting until at least September 28. The government is expected to review the ban late September and either reopen again for general tourism, or extend the ban further, depending on the epidemiological situation at that time.

Since reopening in June, Ukraine has been allowing a list of over 120+ low-risk countries enter without quarantines or PCR testing.

ukraine closes border again

Read More: See what countries have re-opened in Europe for tourism, and which countries have no restrictions or entry requirements, and list of countries now open for American tourists

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Thursday 10th of September 2020

Ukraine has just closed the transit option as well. People were abusing it and staying longer the 48 hours. I thought that staying longer would create issues in the future travels to Ukraine but seems like the border control did not have any control on that hence the closure for transit as well.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Thank you so much for the update on transiting through Ukraine right now