PM Shmyhal confirms preparations for lockdown, but no date yet / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said the authorities are considering the introduction of a lockdown "as a plan B" if the epidemiological situation in the country does not improve after the weekend quarantine.

"Instead of the traditional economic results of the week, today I will tell you about the Government's plans regarding quarantine," he wrote on Facebook.

According to Shmyhal, the weekend quarantine remains a reasonable alternative to lockdown.

"The past weekend showed people have limited their mobility, most of all since the spring quarantine. This means long-term contacts between different social groups have decreased. Accordingly, there is less chance that healthy people have contracted the virus. Therefore, the weekend quarantine will be in effect this and next weekend. After that, we can evaluate its result. We see this result in flattening the curve in terms of the number of cases," he said.

Read alsoPresident's Office explains why lockdown could be re-introduced in UkraineAs for the introduction of a lockdown, the prime minister said the relevant plan was indeed being developed.

"BUT – this is plan B if the weekend quarantine does not work. We have started a public discussion of this plan B so that the whole country understands it. We want our steps to be clear and predictable for people and businesses. Therefore, this week we met twice with the mayors. A meeting with the Council of Churches took place. Meeting and discussion with business. A survey is sent out for the mayors on what anti-epidemic rules and curbs they see as optimal. What restrictions for which crowded places should be better applied," Shmyhal said.

The prime minister added the government also consults daily with epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists, as well as analyzing the situation in each region.

"We are doing all this now to work out a joint, balanced plan supported by everyone. I want to stress once again: there is no date yet on the introduction of a lockdown," Shmyhal said.

Weekend quarantine in Ukraine

  • On November 11, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to introduce the so-called weekend quarantine starting from November 14.
  • The government repealed the adaptive quarantine system and imposed a nationwide quarantine with curbs for all territories that were in effect in the previous version of the coronavirus quarantine in zones with the orange risk level.
  • On November 17, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, did not back a draft resolution recommending that the Ukrainian government soften the restrictions imposed along with the so-called weekend quarantine.