Two options are being considered / Photo from UNIAN, by Serhiy Chuzavkov

Ukraine's government and the Office of the President are considering two options for introducing a new COVID-19 lockdown during the upcoming New Year holidays.

This is reported by the media outlet Suspilne with reference to sources close to the talks.

Read alsoCOVID-19: Over 13,800 new active cases reported as of Nov 25

Which of the two scenarios will ultimately be chosen depends on the pace at which COVID-19 spreads and on how the healthcare sector copes with coronavirus patients.

"The option of imposing a lockdown is indeed under discussion at the Cabinet of Ministers and the President's Office now. So far, two options are being considered, depending on morbidity statistics. The optimistic version is a lockdown for three weeks after New Year, just for the period of the holidays," the source said.

However, if the number of new coronavirus cases continues to grow, the lockdown may be introduced as early as December 20, and then it will cover the entire New Year holidays.

The average rate occupancy in hospitals in Ukraine fluctuates within 50% now, but if it hits 80%, the healthcare system may collapse.

"And then what [Health Minister Maksym] Stepanov said will come: prioritizing [COVID-19 patients] for hospitalization and a healthcare collapse. Lockdown options are still being analyzed, perhaps transport services will not stop," a source at the President's Office said.

Weekend quarantine

  • On November 11, the Cabinet decided to introduce weekend quarantine in the country from November 14 to 30. It is enforced from 00:00 Saturday to 00:00 Monday.
  • In particular, on weekends, along with restrictions provided for on weekdays, bans have been imposed on cafes and restaurants (except takeaway), shopping malls and entertainment facilities, fitness centers, and the like. Grocery stores, pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, post offices, medical facilities, and gas stations shall remain open.
  • Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko proposes a two-week lockdown for the period of the New Year holidays and a ban on mass Christmas and New Year events.