The Interior Ministry reports almost all Ukrainians wear face masks / Photo from UNIAN, by Serhiy Chuzavkov

About 90% of Ukrainians wear face masks amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko announced this while speaking on Radio NV when asked about the effectiveness of fines for not using personal protective equipment.

"About 90% of Ukrainians are now using protective face masks," he said.

"A decision was made in the first days after the entry of this law [on administrative liability for not wearing masks] into force – it became effective on Saturday – to introduce measures of warning: that is, if a police officer sees a person without a mask, then he or she warns of liability." 

He explained the need to introduce liability for not wearing masks by the fact that this will create an "incentive" for people to implement the law. At the same time, he added that not all citizens might be aware of the fines, so now the police are conducting an "awareness campaign."

"About 30,000police officers who patrol the streets of Ukraine are now engaged in the campaign," the official said.

Gerashchenko also mentioned that some provisions of the law needed improvement.

"For example, it says that it is necessary for everyone to wear masks in public places. At the same time, cafes and restaurants work. I do not yet know how one could be in a cafe and eat through a mask," he said.

Read alsoInterior Ministry explains how to avoid fines for not wearing masks

Fines for not wearing masks

  • On November 19, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky enacted the law introducing fines for not wearing face masks in public places.
  • According to the document, citizens without face masks or respirators in public places (in particular on public transport) will have to pay a fine worth from UAH 170 (US$6) to UAH 250 (US$9).
  • As of November 23, some 1,300 fines were issued in Ukraine for violations of the mask wearing rules.