Photo from UNIAN

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Friday held a second meeting with the Association of Ukrainian Cities to discuss measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and the issue of filling local budgets amid restrictions imposed by government.

Senior health officials and representatives of other ministries have also attended the video conference, the government press service reports.

The prime minister has called on city heads to adhere to the weekend quarantine restrictions, adding that they are the only alternative to a full-blown lockdown across country.

All options are on the table in case the situation with the COVID-19 spread worsens, including further tightening quarantine restrictions.

"We don't want to introduce a strict lockdown, which we did in spring. We are ready to listen to your advice on tightening quarantine restrictions," said PM.

The government, Shmyhal added, had transferred the second tranche of UAH 870 million to city budgets to provide hospitals with more ventilators and stressed that the Cabinet had streamlines all procedures to this end.

Read alsoOver 60% of Ukrainians oppose introduction of lockdown – pollDuring the meeting, the Head of Government heard reports on the main issues and proposals put forward by mayors to improve the functioning of local governments.

Mayors raised the issue of transferring the excise tax on fuel to local budgets. The Ministry of Finance, Shmyhal responded, was ready for compromise: part of the excise tax could be directed to the budgets of local communities.

Weekend quarantine: Latest

  • 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  • The government repealed the adaptive quarantine system and imposed a nationwide quarantine with curbs for all territories that were in effect in the previous version of the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.