Last week the Government made several far-reaching decisions, including the one on the “weekend lockdown” that the Cabinet does not have the authority to introduce. Today in our digest: a stricter lockdown to counter the surge of COVID-19 cases, money on oxygen and express tests for hospitals, and preparations for the launch of the 5G connection in Ukraine at the end of next year.
Who is affected: every person on the territory of Ukraine, business, and law enforcement agencies.
What does it change:
1. “Orange” lockdown restrictions are enacted throughout Ukraine. For a week, the following restrictions apply:
- no public events with more than 20 participants
- no public events with less than 20 participants but without social distancing
- no sports events except for team sports without spectators and events scheduled in the Unified plan of health and fitness events in Ukraine
- movie theaters are allowed to work with no more than 50% of seats occupied
- museums and gyms have to restrict attendance to ensure there are at least 20 square meters of space per person
- transportation companies have to ensure that the number of passengers in each vehicle is equal to or less than the number of seats
- entertaining events including discos are prohibited
- dining facilities are allowed to work only from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (except for to-go and delivery options)
- all businesses have to ensure that they conform to lockdown requirements for customers and provide protective equipment for personnel
- businesses that provide lodging have to halt their work except for hotels and enterprises that provide social services
- educational establishments must ensure that learning groups have no more than 20 participants (except for preschool, basic, afterschool, and specialized art education)
- preschool, basic, afterschool, and specialized art education establishment are not allowed to work if more than 50% of staff and pupils are in self-isolation
- all planned hospitalizations have to be postponed except for urgent and emergency hospitalizations, medical care for pregnant women or women in labor, newborn children, oncology patients, and patients of palliative care.
2. From November 14 and until November 30, 2020, from 0:00 AM Saturday to Monday morning the following restrictions are in force throughout Ukraine:
- public dining facilities are allowed to work only with to-go and delivery options
- shopping and recreation centers and other entertainment establishments are not allowed to work at all
- retailers and enterprises providing consumer services are not allowed to work, except groceries, drugstores, banks and other financial institutions, veterinaries, postal services, medical establishments, gas stations, and car service stations
- cultural establishments, gyms, fitness centers, and pools are not allowed to provide services.
What is wrong:
- the resolution passed by the Cabinet is unconstitutional: it infringes the right of free enterprise and the freedom of peaceful assembly
- the Cabinet has no authority to regulate the work of entertainment or dining establishments, this power belongs to local governments
- the business will suffer substantial losses because of the restrictions and the situation is even worth because the resolution was enacted immediately without giving enough time for businesses to prepare
- because the resolution is unconstitutional, there is a risk of mass lawsuits from businesses against the state with a demand to compensate losses caused by the lockdown.
Money on express tests and oxygen for hospitals
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, medical establishments, and local budgets.
What does it change: a planned spending on maintaining roads will be cut by ₴2 bln 154 mln. Instead, the money will be allocated for the Anti-COVID-19 Fund. ₴1 bln will be used to buy express tests. ₴895 mln will be transferred to local budgets and spent on oxygen for medical establishments. ₴259 mln are allocated for measures to counter the spread of COVID-19.
What is right: the Cabinet has finally decided to use COVID-19 funds to fight the pandemic instead of spending them on issues unconnected to the virus. Allocated money will help to increase the testing capacity and to provide better medical care.
What next: after the money will be allocated from the government budget, procurement procedures will start.
Preparation to launch 5G
Who is affected: the Cabinet, central executive bodies, telecommunication network operators, and users of communication services.
What does it change: a working group will be created to analyze the radiofrequency resource fit for the introduction of the 5th generation mobile technology, determine 5G frequency costs, prepare legal regulations for the launch of 5G and tenders for 5G licenses.
What next: the working group will prepare the required materials, the Cabinet will have to adopt necessary regulatory acts, conduct tenders for licenses (before October 2021), and give frequency resources to the licensed telecommunication network operators (before December 2021).
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