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Quarantine restrictions in Kyiv: Summing up and analytics

25 March, 2020 Newsletters

Recently the media space is seething with news, announcements and interviews related to restrictions introduced by different public authorities due to spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at the territory of Ukraine.

In this newsletter we are to sum up relevant restrictions and bans introduced at the national level and in the city of Kyiv, with references to the original sources.

Quarantine introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

On March 11, 2020 the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211, amended by the Resolution No. 215 as of March 16, 2020, has introduced the quarantine at the entire territory of Ukraine starting from March 12, 2020 until April 03, 2020 (recently extended until April 24, 2020), as well as number of bans. We analyzed them in our newsletter “New restrictions imposed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Ukraine”. In particular pursuant to this Resolution the operation of subways has been suspended, holding mass events and transportation services (more than 10 people in total) have been banned.

Restrictive measures introduced by the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration)

First wave: restriction on holding mass events (more than 60 people) and others

Initially the restrictions were introduced by the Protocol of the Permanent Commission of the Kyiv City State Administration on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency “On Additional Measures Aimed at Preventing the Spread of the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” No. 9 as of March 11, 2020, which was analyzed in our newsletter “Quarantine in Kyiv: ban on mass events and other restrictions imposed by the Kyiv City Council”. Currently they are irrelevant, as stricter measures have been already introduced.

New restrictive measures: closing most of businesses hosting visitors

Protocol of the Permanent Commission on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency “On Preventing the Spread of the new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Introducing Restrictive Measures at the Territory of Kyiv” No. 10 as of March 16, 2020.

By this Protocol, among others, the operation of entertainment establishments, sports facilities, consumer services has been temporarily suspended. Public food services have been allowed to provide take-out and delivery services only. For more details, please find our newsletter “Quarantine in Kyiv: new restrictive measures and bans”.

The third wave: ban on all mass events

On March 17, 2020 there was adopted a number of new decisions by issuance of the Protocol of the Permanent Commission on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency “On Preventing the Spread of the Acute Respiratory Disease COVID-19 Caused by the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and Introducing Restrictive Measures at the Territory of Kyiv”.

In particular, this Protocol provided that regular and irregular suburban, intercity and interregional bus services (except for transportation by cars) have been banned until April 03, 2020. Along with that all mass events (cultural, entertainment, sports, social (including fairs), religious, advertising and other mass events), as well as operation of market network enterprises of all forms of ownership have been banned, except for events required for ensuring the work of state and local self-government bodies. Therefore, restrictive measures have been tightened even comparing with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211.

Additional restrictions: city transportation services under passes, not more than 1 person per 10 sq.m. in pharmacies and grocery stores

The next Protocol of the Permanent Commission on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency “On Preventing the Spread of the Acute Respiratory Disease COVID-19 Caused by the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and Introducing Extra Restrictive Measures at the Territory of Kyiv” No. 16 has been issued on March 21, 2020.

The key restrictions are the following:

1. “Kyivpastrans” Utility Company shall be allowed with providing land transportation services (by tram, trolley, bus) under specified routes, which may be used only by passengers with special tickets/passes, IDs, and personal protective equipment provided under agreements concluded with the enterprises, institutions, organizations ensuring the life support of the city of Kyiv.

The Protocol has not specified what the “life support of the city of Kyiv” is considered to be. Actually, in legal regulations the definition “life support” is usually referred to a human. As regards to the enterprises and institutions being strategically important for the economy and security of the state, society and population the legislation, for instance, stipulates the notion of “critical infrastructure facilities”. However, under these circumstances one might only intuitively guess at employees of what exactly enterprises are being able to receive special tickets and use land transportation services. No bans on taxi or private transport are mentioned in the Protocol.

2.Using children and sports playgrounds being located in parks, public gardens and building surrounding grounds” shall be banned. We will not go onto analysis of definitions but exclaim our astonishment at such territorial-related ban. Probably, authors of this rule meant a ban on usage on any territory of any facilities specified for instance in Rules for the Construction and Safe Operation of Amusement Equipment approved by the Order of the Ministry of Emergencies and Protection of the Population from the Chornobyl Disaster Consequences No. 110 dated March 01, 2006.

3. “Managers of grocery stores and pharmacies shall ensure the presence of customers in the commercial premises in the amount of 1 person per 10 m2 and ensure the required measures for compliance with sanitary standards.”

The definition “store” does not provoke any specific questions as it is considered to be “a retail commercial facility intended for organizing sale of goods to the ultimate customers and providing them with commercial services”. The meaning of “commercial premises” may be explained through the definition of “sales area of the store (shop)” which is considered to be “a commercial premises of the store (shop) designed for demonstration, selection of goods and customer services (except for glass recycling centers) covering the area for the placement of trade and technological equipment, settlement units, sales assistant’s workplaces and the area for customers, as well as the passage area, including major escape routes” (State Construction Standards B.2.2-23: 2009).

Meanwhile, the standard rule for the number of customers being simultaneously present in the sales area shall be calculated per one person (including the area covered with equipment) and constitute 3,0 м2 of the sales area in the city stores. In other words, assuming that all stores have been constructed and operating in compliance with respective rules, the new restrictions will result in three times decrease of customers in the sales area.

Next Protocol: Small architectural forms selling doner kebab

The Protocol of the Permanent Commission on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency (No. 17) has been issued on March 23, 2020.

Pursuant to the Protocol the heads of companies, institutions and organizations, regardless of ownership and subordination shall:

  • be prohibited with “further operation of small architectural forms selling doner kebab, brewing and selling coffee drinks etc.”;
  • be prohibited with “selling alcoholic beverages on draught and brewing and selling coffee drinks in shopping centres”;
  • “mask regime” shall be introduced for people in administrative, industrial and public transport areas.

Please note, that pursuant to the effective legislation small architectural form is considered to be an element of decorative or other amenity infrastructure (part 2 of Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine “On improvement of human settlements”). Therefore, if the restrictions are going to be implemented, in order to avoid any ambiguities it would be more logical to ban the operation of not small architectural forms only, but also temporary structures, as defined in the Procedure of Placement of Business Temporary Structures, approved by the Order of the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine No. 244 dated October 21, 2011.

However, if you do not sell “doner kebab” and “coffee drinks” in your small architectural form, what the wording “etc.” is considered to be then? Should the small architectural forms which do not have on offer doner kebab and coffee drinks be closed? Unfortunately, there are no responses so far.

Unfortunately, “mask regime” is impossible to be interpreted on the basis of legal provisions; this rule may be conceived only based on general knowledge of what exactly should be done within “mask regime” and which particular “mask” should be used. Just for your information please note, that for this purpose the legislation provides the notion of “means of individual protection equipment”.

Issue of lawfulness of Protocol of the Permanent Commission on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency

Without going into further details but for the sake of completeness please note, that it is believed that the Permanent Commission has not sufficient powers for implementation of restrictive measures in the city of Kyiv. However, this opinion is based on the provisions of the Regulation on the Permanent Commission on Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency of the Executive Body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration) approved by the Executive Order of the Executive Body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration) No. 519 dated May 3, 2017.

Along with that, doubts on compliance with procedure of introducing measures for the prevention of especially dangerous infectious diseases in the territory of the city of Kyiv are provoked by the fact, that these measures shall be implemented at the suggestion of chief state sanitarians (Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring Sanitary and Epidemic Safety of Population”). As far as is known, positions of “regional” chief state sanitarians have not been renewed yet (a short time ago merely the Chief state sanitarian of Ukraine has been appointed).

Emergency situation regime in the city of Kyiv

The Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 324-р dated March 20, 2020 has introduced the emergency situation regime in the city of Kyiv. This also has been determined in the Decree of the Kyiv City Council No. 488 dated March 20, 2020. By and large, on March 25, 2020 the Government has decided to introduce the emergency situation regime at the entire territory of Ukraine until April 24, 2020.

The definition of emergency situation may be found in para. 24 of part 1 of Article 2 of the Civil Protection Code, while tasks being implemented by state and local governmental authorities within this regime may be found in subpara. 2 of para. 24 of the Regulation on the Unified State Civil Protection System, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 11 dated January 9, 2014.

At the same time, the key point is that contrary to the emergency regime, the emergency situation regime does not provide the business and citizens with restrictions.

Suspension of time limits for providing administrative services

According to the recently adopted Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” from the day of the quarantine implementation, the time limits of application for administrative and other services, as well as the time limits of providing these services, which is determined by the law, shall be suspended. Starting from the day of the quarantine cancelation these time limits shall be renewed taking into account the time that has passed before the suspension of time limits (subpara. 3 of para. 2 of Section II of the Law). Obviously, in practice this rule may result in some limitations.

Please note, that the Law of Ukraine “On Administrative Services” stipulates several exceptions, which give reasons to conclude that suspension of time limits shall not be applied to relations regarding court proceedings, enforcement proceedings, notarial actions, access to public information (the full list is given in part 2 of Article 2 of the Law).

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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