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From midnight today, August 28, Ukraine closed its borders for foreign citizens, leaving a few exceptions for certain categories of foreigners.

The entry ban was introduced a day earlier than initially planned (on August 28 instead of August 29) in order to "protect foreign citizens and Ukrainians from COVID-19" and prevent corruption-related violations of law at the border, says Cabinet Minister Oleh Nemchynov, according to Obozrevatel.

The decision to speed up the launch of travel restrictions for foreigners wasn't an easy one, Nemchynov said.

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The move had been considered by several ministries before the decision was approved.

Officials expressed concern that before the date announced earlier, corruption-related offenses could be committed at the border, including providing an unlawful crossing-in for those who have no such right.

"Therefore, we decided to speed up this process and launch quarantine restrictions early," Nemchynov said.

Read alsoUkraine not going to reintroduce tough quarantine amid second wave of COVID-19Commenting on the situation where foreigners who had already purchased tickets for August 28, but eventually couldn't come to Ukraine, he referred to it as "force majeure", adding that, unfortunately, the persons affected should "accept" this.

"This is the necessary move [entry restriction] that we must make in order to preserve health both of our fellow citizens and people arriving in Ukraine," the minister stressed.

Temporary entry ban: background

On August 26, 2020, the Cabinet extended the adaptive quarantine across Ukraine until November 1.

At the same time, the government imposed a temporarily entry ban for foreigners from August 29 until September 28, with a number of exceptions for certain categories of foreign nationals.

One of such exceptions was allegedly made for Belarusian citizens due to the mounting unrest in the neighboring country.

Late on Thursday, August 27, the Cabinet declared that borders would be shut a day early, from midnight on August 28.

Here are the exceptions allowing certain categories of foreign nationals to enter Ukraine.