All regions in Ukraine will move into the yellow zone of COVID-19 restrictions from September 23, according to a statement posted on the government's website.
This decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of the State Commission on Technogenic and Environmental Safety and Emergencies, chaired by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
"Following the meeting, the State Commission on Technogenic and Environmental Safety and Emergencies decided to introduce from 00:00 on September 23, 2021 the 'yellow' level of epidemiological danger of the spread of COVID-19 in all regions of Ukraine, as well as to apply in all regions of Ukraine restrictive anti-epidemic measures relating to the "yellow" level of epidemiological danger," the statement said.
Shmyhal said that the epidemiological situation in the country was rapidly deteriorating, so the duty of the state was to protect people's lives and health. At the same time, he stressed that vaccination was currently the most effective way to combat COVID-19, and the state has provided an opportunity for anyone to be vaccinated free of charge.
Shmyhal said that the Cabinet of Ministers, by amending its resolution on COVID-19 restrictions, also eased restrictive measures and allowed economic and educational institutions to operate even in the "red" zone, but under certain conditions.
"Restrictions in the 'yellow' and 'red' zones will not apply to institutions where staff and visitors are vaccinated, have a negative test or confirmation of a recent illness. This is the method that is successfully used today by a number of countries in Europe and worldwide in order to save people and not to stop the country's economic activity," he said.
The commission heard a report by Minister of Health Viktor Liashko on the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine and discussed the introduction of the "yellow" level of epidemiological danger in all regions of the country.
Following the meeting, the commission also instructed the heads of regional state administrations and Kyiv City State Administration to take measures to ensure compliance with the relevant restrictive anti-epidemic measures envisaged for the respective level of epidemiological danger of the spread of COVID-19.
The participants in the meeting also raised the issue of vaccination of the population, in particular teachers and employees of educational institutions. Shmyhal said that COVID-19 cases among children were growing compared to last year.