News Society, 11/01/2021

‘Winter Break Quarantine:’ Kharkiv without Restaurants and Shopping Malls

On January 8, under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Decree “On the imposition of quarantine and the introduction of restrictive anti-epidemic measures to prevent the spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Ukraine,” the so-called “winter break quarantine” was implemented. It will last for 17 days until January 24.

In the Kharkiv region, as well as throughout the country, there are additional restrictions on educational institutions, catering, trade, sports and entertainment during this period.

What is prohibited during the January lockdown?

  • attendance of educational institutions (except for kindergartens);
  • cafes and restaurants are takeaways only;
  • holding sports and entertainment events;
  • operation of shopping and entertainment centers, gyms, fitness centers and swimming pools;
  • operation of non-food shops and markets.

What will continue to work during the quarantine?

  • public transport but with orange zone restrictions. It means that passengers can be transported in the number of seats. Intercity and international auto, air and railway transport will operate;
  • shops, more than 60 percent of the area of ​​which are occupied by food, medicines and medical items, communication facilities, veterinary and hygiene products as well as grocery stores;
  • hotel complexes (catering areas work only from 6:00 to 11:00 AM);
  • ski resorts (catering and alcohol sales are prohibited);
  • banks, chemists, post offices;
  • gas and service stations without food zones;
  • hairdressers and beauty salons (serve clients by appointment only);
  • veterinary pharmacies and veterinary hospitals;
  • professional teams and sports clubs are allowed to hold competitions without spectators.

What items are bend for selling during the quarantine?

On the first day of lockdown, Kharkivites started posting photos of banned goods on social networks.

According to eyewitnesses, access to some goods was blocked with red-tape ribbons and warnings in Kharkiv supermarkets such as stationery and notebooks, cleaning products (sponges, napkins, garbage bags), shoe care products, disposable tableware, air fresheners, clothes (including socks and tights), household goods.

Thus, Kharkiv residents can buy dishwashing detergent, but not a dishwashing sponge which is on a shelf next to it. And in one of the Kharkiv retail chains, even dishwashing detergents were banned.

Why are some items prohibited to sell in supermarkets?

During the briefing, the Health Minister of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov explained why it is banned to sell some household goods in supermarkets during the quarantine.

“COVID-19 is not spread more actively on toys, socks or batteries than on animal feed or seeds. The logic here is completely different and it is completely obvious, it is based on the laws of epidemiology.

For example, there is a supermarket which sells goods for any taste and every need, and there are 100 people who need to buy various goods. So, 20 people will go to the supermarket to buy food, another 20 need hygiene products, 20 will go to the supermarket to buy cutlery or household appliances, and others will purchase clothes, batteries, socks.

If we prohibit the sale of certain goods in the store, then the people who need these items order them online and will not contact others, putting them at risk of infection. That is, out of 100 people who could be in the supermarket and communicate with each other, there will be only 40 of them. The likelihood that they get infected or infect others simply decreases significantly,” Stepanov states.

Number of quarantine violations

Since the lockdown started, 70,480 violations of quarantine rules were recorded in Ukraine.

Kharkiv region stands in fifth place in Ukraine in terms of the number of punished violators. Out of the 5,600 issued protocols, 2,899 were returned by the courts for proper processing.

How will Kharkiv schoolchildren learn during the lockdown?

Pupils of grades 1-4 will be on holiday for another two weeks, others started distance learning on January 11.

Text: Natalia Ivanova