MFA of Ukraine Q&A: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Quarantine Measures, Entering Ukraine, Obtaining Consular Support
17 March 2020 16:15

UPDATED MAR.15, 2020, 23:30

The fast spreading coronavirus #COVID-19 has become a global challenge for humanity. On Mar.13, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, announced that Europe has become the epicentre for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries all over the world are taking emergency measures to stop the virus from spreading and to protect their population from the disease.

With no vaccine for the coronavirus yet available, restrictions of movement and quarantine are believed to be the most efficient measures against the pandemic.

To stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil, on Mar.14, the Government of Ukraine introduced temporary restrictions at the state border.

Ukraine's Ministry for Foreign Affairs is doing its utmost to protect and help Ukrainian citizens abroad and provide all the necessary information with respect to the restrictive measures taken.

1) When does Ukraine close its borders for entry?

From Mar. 16, 2020, 00:00 am to Apr. 3, 00:00 am, all foreigners and people without citizenship will be prohibited from entering the country.

Depending on further developments with the pandemic, the restrictive measure may be lifted or extended.

2) Can Ukrainian citizens freely return to the country whilst restrictive measures are in place?

Yes, all Ukrainian citizens can freely return to Ukraine via checkpoints at the state border.

3) Do measures taken restrict entry to or exit from the country? 

As of today, Ukraine has not introduced any restrictions on leaving the country. However, the destination country may have restrictions in entering.

Please note, that as of Mar. 17, Ukraine halts all regular passenger services, so you won't be able to leave Ukraine by plane, train or bus.

4) Who won't be allowed to enter Ukraine?

Foreign citizens and people without citizenship who have no temporary or permanent residence permit in Ukraine.

5) Will foreigners with temporary or permanent residence permits be able to enter Ukraine?

Similar to Ukrainian citizens, foreigners with a temporary of permanent residence permits will be able to enter Ukraine.

6) Who else will be allowed to enter Ukraine?

Spouses and children of Ukrainian citizens, employees of foreign embassies and consular institutions accredited in Ukraine, offices of international missions and organisations accredited in Ukraine and their families, drivers and supporting staff of transport vehicles, and members of their crews will also be allowed to enter Ukraine.

There will also be some exemptions for certain categories of foreign citizens to be individually approved by the Foreign Ministry and State Border Service, for instance, doctors or other experts if needed.

7) What should Ukrainians, who are currently abroad on holiday, business trips or for other reasons do if they are supposed to return within the next 14 days?

If possible, try and return to Ukraine before 00:00 a.m. Mar. 17.

If not possible, register within the DRUH (Friend) System, a dedicated system of the Ukraine's MFA to inform our foreign institutions of your stay in a particular country. Data from the system will be used to form lists of Ukrainian citizens to return to Ukraine in emergencies.

Contact the Ukrainian Embassy or consular service in the country of your stay by hotline, e-mail or via their accounts on social media.

Please note that due to a vast inflow of requests, the system may be temporarily unreachable at certain points. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

8) How much does a call to the MFA hotline cost abroad?

We reached an arrangement with the Ukrainian cellular companies to make all mobile calls to our hotline, when roaming, free of charge.

9) How can Ukrainian citizens who are currently abroad return to Ukraine?

Ukraine will halt all regular passenger services as of Mar. 17, 00:00 a.m. Kyiv time. At that time, all checkpoints at the state border will be closed for trains and buses.

We strongly recommend that all Ukrainian citizens and foreigners with a temporary or permanent residence permit who are currently abroad on holiday or on business trips, return to the country before Mar. 17.

For those who will be unable to do so for valid reasons, for example there are no return tickets available, MFA recommends contacting Ukrainian consular institutions. MFA will take all steps possible to assist those who need to return home before the restrictive measures take effect. Regular updates will be provided via all available communication channels, as well as via our foreign diplomatic institutions.

10) How will checkpoint operate? 

As decided by the Government, 123 checkpoints will continue to operate at the state border, while 107 checkpoints will be closed until Apr. 3.

The full list of checkpoints in operation or closed is available via the Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers.

11) Are returning people required to undergo additional screening or take other protective measures?

All checkpoints at the state border will have special medical teams. When returning from countries with, according to WHO information, higher pandemic risks, such people will be screened and appropriate measures taken – a person will either be directed to isolate him or herself at home for 14 days or, if necessary, transported to a health care institution.

12) Will foreigners who drive a truck, a transit vehicle or are members of the crew be able to enter Ukraine?

Crew members of ships, cars and/or planes will be allowed to enter Ukraine following additional screening.

13) What should you do if you are unable to return to Ukraine before Mar. 17 (no tickets or money available, etc.)?

MFA recommends that all those who, for valid reasons (e.g., no tickets available, personal reasons, etc.), will be unable to return to Ukraine before Mar. 17, to contact our consular institutions and register with the DRUH (Friend) system. The system is designed for you to inform our diplomatic institutions abroad of your stay in a particular country. Data from the system will be used to form lists of Ukrainian citizens to return to Ukraine in emergencies. Please note that due to a vast inflow of requests, the system may temporarily be unreachable at certain points. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

MFA will take all steps possible to assist those who need to return home before the restrictive measures take effect. Regular updates will be provided via all communication channels available, as well as via our foreign diplomatic institutions.

14) Could I return to Ukraine by plane after Mar. 17, if my flight has not been cancelled?

At 00:00 am Mar. 17 Ukraine will halt all regular international passenger service. You can return to the country by plane only before that time. Those who are unable to do so must contact Ukrainian consular institutions abroad who will form lists to return people to Ukraine via charter flights.

15) What should I do if I am staying in a country that has already stopped its regular international flights?

E-mail or call our diplomatic institutions abroad to find out what alternative routes home are available. As previous experience demonstrates, emails appear to be more effective, as telephone lines may well be overloaded with calls.

16) How can I evacuate a child from a country where quarantine measures are already in place?

Different countries have different procedures for this. Additionally, new restrictions might be introduced in a particular country as a protective measure. To find out, please contact your closest consular institution abroad to get recommendations and seek consular support.

17) What should I do if my work permit expires while the quarantine is still in place?

As the issue of expired documents may be a common problem during the quarantine period, MFA has already contacted foreign governments to settle the issue so that all people concerned do not face penalties or other punitive measures as a result of such expiration. MFA will provide additional information as soon as necessary arrangements are in place.

18) I cannot access DRUH System.

For obvious reasons, workloads on the DRUH system have considerably increased. As of today, the system is fully operational. We generally try and resolve all problems as soon as they occur. If you experience any difficulties in registering with the system, e.g. not receiving a confirmation email to activate an account, please send an email to our support team at e-consul@mfa.gov.ua.

19) Because of the coronavirus, I am unable to leave my country of stay, and my visa is about to expire.

You will need to provide our Embassy with copies of your documents, including your address of stay. With the package provided, the Embassy will contact the authorities to resolve the problem that may include an extension to your visa.

20) I can't reach consular institution either by phone or by email.

At present, our 24-hour hotline is receiving thousands of requests. We may not be able to reply as quickly as normal, but rest assured that no request will remain unanswered.

21) What can I do if I cannot reach our consular service via the hotline?

Visit the page of our Embassy in the country of stay with contact information. Email or contact the Embassy via their social media pages at any time. MFA has instructed our institutions abroad to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within this special period. Our hotline +38 (044) 238-16-57 is also operational, although you may need to hold for some time to get an operator.

We do apologise if we are unable to immediately respond or provide services of the quality you would expect. However, we will do our best to give you all the help we can.

22) How will diplomatic institutions abroad operate?

With the coronavirus spreading worldwide at a fast pace, MFA informs that our diplomatic institutions abroad will operate using a special regime for one week.

The regime provides that the institutions will operate in distance-mode unless force majeure circumstances require immediate personal involvement, especially, if it is related to the pandemic itself.

Within this period, our diplomatic institutions abroad will process requests for the following:

  • IDs to return to Ukraine the next week;
  • citizenship for a child newly born in the country of stay and IDs for such children if they require an immediate return to Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian entry visas if interests of Ukraine so require it or for humanitarian purposes, as sanctioned by the head of the relevant diplomatic institution.

This special regime with distant operation and enhanced processing of requests will continue for the period of. and including Sun. Mar. 15 to Fri. Mar. 20, 2020.

Which requests will temporarily be declined due to the special regime? 

The following requests will temporarily be declined due to the special regime of operation:

  • issuing Ukrainian passports for foreign trips;
  • issuing IDs to return to Ukraine, except cases of lost documents or emergencies. All other exceptions could be made by the head of the relevant diplomatic institution;
  • registering with the consular office;
  • notary issues (except force majeure, e.g., issue death certificates to transport the deceased, applications for children, etc.), documents on civil state, legalisation of documents;
  • citizenship, except documents for a child newly born in the country of stay and IDs for such children if they need to be immediately returned to Ukraine;
  • Ukrainian entry visas or transit documents, except cases when such documents are required by the interests of Ukraine or for humanitarian purposes as sanctioned by the head of the relevant diplomatic institution;
  • apostilles for official documents by the consular service (for MFA offices in Ukraine);
  • visits to persons detained or arrested, etc.;
  • mobile consular services.

All requests received within this special period will be handled after its termination.

24) What should I do if I have not found an answer to my question here?

Contact our diplomatic institution in the country of your stay or call the MFA hotline at +38 (044) 238-16-57, or alternatively send an email to this address: cons_or@mfa.gov.ua.

Updated information on coronavirus and our operations abroad can be found here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/UA_MFA_Info 

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2v9WUDb

Telegram: https://t.me/s/Coronavirus_Info_MFA

25) How to protect yourself and your loved ones?

  • Try to avoid contact with people showing flu-like symptoms. The recommended distance is 1.5 m.
  • Enhance your immune system and be attentive to your health. Good nutrition, healthy sleep, regular physical exercises and sufficient water consumption are key.
  • Wash your hands with soap or antiseptic liquid with no less than 60% spirit content for at least 20 seconds.
  • Try not to touch your face. Avoid contact with your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Do not consume raw meat or eggs.
  • Disinfect covers and packaging.
  • Avoid large gatherings of people.
  • If possible, work from home.
  • Contact your doctor immediately with any flu-like symptoms.

More information on coronavirus can be found on the website at https://covid19.com.ua or on the Telegram account of the Health Ministry at https://t.me/COVID19_Ukraine

We will keep this information updated. Stay in touch and be healthy.

MFA Team

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