Ukraine to re-impose restrictions as Covid cases surge

By Olga Tokariuk

Kiev, Sep 22 (EFE).- Ukraine will re-impose coronavirus restrictions amid a slow vaccination rollout and a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, the government announced Wednesday.

Starting September 23, the eastern European nation will move into a ‘yellow’ epidemic zone.

The number of infections has been on the rise in recent weeks as 6,754 cases and 105 related deaths were registered in the past 24 hours.

The new measures will include capacity limits in cinemas, concert houses, gyms and restaurants.

“Restrictions will not be extended to those institutions where personnel and visitors have been vaccinated, tested negative or have a confirmation of a recent Covid disease,” prime minister Denys Shmyhal said.

“This method is successfully used in a number of countries and helps to save lives and, at the same time, not to disrupt economic activity.”

Schools will only be allowed to continue face-to-face education if 80% of the workforce is vaccinated at least with the first dose, which seems a far-fetched rule for thousands of Ukrainian schools.

In Kiev, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country,  only half of the schools there comply with this requirement, according to official figures.

Ukraine’s health ministry announced earlier this week that 98% of recently hospitalized Covid patients were not vaccinated against the virus.

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