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Quarantine in Kyiv: ban on mass events and other restrictions imposed by the Kyiv City Council

12 March, 2020 Newsletters

Updating! “Quarantine in Kyiv: new restrictive measures and bans”, “New restrictions imposed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Ukraine”.

We would like to inform that on March 12, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. a number of restrictions on holding mass events come into force within the territory of Kyiv city in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Not all news agencies may convey the subject matter of restrictions in a correct way so we advise to review the source document at the Kyiv City Council official website (Minutes of the Standing Commission of the Kyiv City State Administration on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency No. 9 as of March 11, 2020).

In our publication the spotlight is on the key restriction which is defined as follows:

“…to ensure the restriction on holding mass events within the territory of Kyiv (more than 60 people), only persons who have passed thermometry are allowed to participate in events”.

This wording may be interpreted in a broader meaning:

1st variant of interpretation

There are two separate rules:

  1. to ensure the restriction on holding mass events within the territory of Kyiv (more than 60 people);
  2. only persons who have passed thermometry are allowed to participate in the events.

In other words, the general “restriction on holding” all events with the number of participants more than 60 people has been imposed. Therefore, holding events for 60 participants or less is possible if the thermometry has been passed.

But it is still unclear what does “restriction on holding” mean – is it absolute prohibition or not? The thermometry rule is not less controversial, and we will consider it more carefully here below.

2nd variant of interpretation

There is one rule regarding restriction on holding mass events for more than 60 people which means that in such case the thermometry is required. According to such interpretation it may be concluded that there is no absolute prohibition on holding events for more than 60 participants.

Of course, we suppose that the author had in mind exactly a total restriction on holding events for more than 60 persons, but unfortunately the rule itself does not exclude even such interpretation.

Unclear thermometry rule

The rule “only persons who have passed thermometry” raises questions as well. Here are some of the main ones we would like to mention:

  • Who shall carry out the thermometry (managers of an event, doctors, participants by themselves)?
  • When the thermometry shall be conducted? (on the day of the event, immediately before the beginning, during the event)?
  • What equipment shall be used to measure body temperature?
  • What shall be the results of the thermometry?
  • What information based on the thermometry results shall be the reasonable ground for event managers to take decisions?

At this moment the wording does not envisage consequences for any result of the thermometry. In other words, even if the high body temperature has been detected, formally the rule is considered to be fulfilled whether or not the person is allowed to participate in the event.

Minutes of the Standing Commission of the Kyiv City State Administration also contains other ambiguous statements which can be fulfilled only based on common sense. This includes, for example, definition of “entertainment center”, “entertainment zone”, as well as understanding what does “restriction on holding sport events” mean.

Leges intellegi ab omnibus debent (the law shall be clear and comprehensible for everyone)

In such situations as now, when the main task is to prevent the spread of new coronavirus and the population is at risk of panic, the rules shall be particularly clear. Such rules shall be written not for lawyers and experts in certain fields but aimed at broad audience. Though, unfortunately, wording of quarantine restrictions gives free scope to manipulation and so may not achieve aim to carry out sanitation and epidemic prevention measures.

At least at the nationwide level the ban is written more clear (The Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211, as of March 11, 2020):

“…[to ban] holding mass events in which 200 or more people are planned to participate, except for public necessity measures. Sports events can be carried out without spectators”.

Thus, anyway there is nationwide ban on mass gathering of more than 200 people, regardless of the local rules (regarding 60 people) and all their interpretations.

The above commentary presents the general statement for information purposes only and as such may not be practically used in specific cases without professional advice.

Kind regards,

© WTS Consulting LLC, 2020

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