The Ukrainian government decided on 11 November to close non-essential businesses for the next 3 weekends, i.e. until 30 November, in response to an upsurge in Covid-19 contaminations. The measure will come into force from 00:01 (local time) on Saturdays until 00:01 on Mondays each weekend. Food shops, pharmacies and banks will remain open.
The option of a strict lockdown has been ruled out by the government because of the economic consequences this measure would have.
A few hours before the government’s announcement, around 2,000 demonstrators, mainly identified as employees of the catering and film industry, had mobilised against this tightening in front of the government headquarters in Kiev.
Further mobilisation in protest against the tightening of Covid-19 related restrictions is expected to continue in the coming days in urban centres. These demonstrations could be violently dispersed by the security forces. Thus, it is advisable to steer clear from any gathering.
On 11 November, local health authorities reported 489,808 cases of Covid-19 and 8,947 deaths. The Ukrainian Health Minister warned that « the worst » was still to come. A further tightening of restrictions on Covid-19 could lead to an intensification of these protests.