Is Chernobyl under quarantine? Not any more! BORDERS ARE OPEN!


  • 30/09/2020
  • Helga

On September 28, 2020, the temporary entry restrictions for foreigners and stateless persons travelling to or through Ukraine, introduced earlier by the Government of Ukraine, have been lifted. Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is open for the tourists with safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection.

We know that life will look different when cities and countries reopen. We already see signs of change that could become part of the new normal life for a long time. Are you afraid of the world after quarantine? We are not!

In CHERNOBYLwel.come, facing difficulties means - to have opportunities - to gain new knowledge, to be stronger than yesterday and to develop yourself. This pandemia is not an exception!The 28th of September 2020 was a good sign for all of us! On this day, Ukraine OPENED BORDERS for foreign travelers and resumed scheduled international flights.

Coming to Ukraine 


Source: AP Photo

Finally, you and your friends can make it to Chernobyl. And, guess what - safer than ever before, at the BEST and LOWERED prices till the end of 2020 like never before and with less tourists around...which brings us to the new level of exploring.

In our blogpost "7 ways to save money when traveling to Chernobyl"  we collected ALL TIPS, PRICES and VARIETY + there you'll find an EXTRA DISCOUNT to your next trip.

Before you pick your date, please read this important information for your maximum safety:

  1. Check in which Zone is your country (Red or Green).  Depending on the Zone, certain rules apply.
  2. When you are coming from a red zone country, we strongly recommend to make a COVID test before the arrival, as you will have to undergo a very complicated self-isolation. Where to take the test you'll find in our blog below. 
  3. Entering the territory of Ukraine you must have medical insurance covering observation and treatment of COVID-19.

What if  my country is in the Red Zone and I didn't take Covid-19 test before entering?

  1. After coming to Ukraine download “Dii Vdoma” mobile app with a Ukrainian SIM card/phone number. 
  2. In the first 24 hours in Ukraine perform a PCR test in an authorized laboratory/clinic.
  3. After taking test the traveler must self isolate for 24-48 hours to wait for results.
  4. The authorized lab will forward results to Health Ministry.
  5. The Health Ministry will upload results to the "Dii Vdoma" app to the account that matches the traveler (by phone number) and the app will say if the traveler can stop isolation, or if they tested positive and have to complete 14 days of isolation. 

Covid-19 Testing

Tests for COVID-19
Source: Reuters

Travelers can take a Covid-19 test in their country before coming to Ukraine. If you take a COVID-19 PCR test at a certified laboratory in Ukraine and receive a negative result you do not have to continue medical observation / self-isolation

Ukraine has purchased German and Chinese test systems for detecting COVID-19. The reagents in the test systems make it possible to carry out laboratory diagnostics of the new coronavirus at the current level. 

The test for Coronavirus will take approximately 5-6 hours to get the result. The cost of the test is between 70-100 US Dollars (depends on the laboratory).

In case of a negative result of testing for COVID-19 by PCR:

  • the laboratory that directly performed the research must enter the result of the negative research into the electronic system of the Center for Public Health of Ukraine;
  • data entered by laboratories are automatically synchronized with the "Dii vdoma (Act at home)" service/app;
  • the person will be informed about the possibility of termination of self-isolation by the corresponding message of the service/app "Dii vdoma (Act at home)".

REMEMBER! The phone number provided when taking a COVID-19 test must match the number used to install the Dii Vdoma app.

HERE you’ll find the list of laboratories that have the right to transmit the results of testing for COVID-19 by PCR to stop self-isolation through the application "Act at home".

Please note that the list of laboratories may change, so be sure to review it in advance on the day of visiting the selected laboratory.

Airports Offering Covid-19 Testing


Kharkiv airport

  • Location: Ticket office #20, Terminal A ground floor; performed by MTM medical center
  • Price: 1,800 UAH from 08:00–21:59, 2,100 UAH from 22:00–07:59
  • Hours: Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat – 9:00-23:00 / Thur, Fri, Sun – 9:00-02:00
  • Payment: cash or card

Kyiv Boryspil airport 

Lviv airport 

Odesa airport 

App Dii Vdoma (“Act at Home”)

Travelers arriving from Red Zone countries who do not arrive with a negative covid-19 test result must install the Dii Vdoma (Act at Home) mobile app. Those who cannot do that are subject to observation.

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine a mobile application "Act at Home" was launched. The application is designed to maintain contact with the person and control the observance of obligatory self-isolation during the quarantine. 

According to the legislation, persons crossing the state border of Ukraine may choose one of two options (CMU Resolution №211 of March 11, 2020):

1. Hospitalization to specialized observatories (isolators).

2. 14-day self-isolation at the place of residence for persons who have agreed to undergo it using the Act at Home app.

Functions of the Act at Home application are as follows:

📍Confirmation of the location of self-isolation with location determination.

📍Photo confirmation of stay at the place of self-isolation.

📍 Emergency call to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine hotline.

📍Planned functions for monitoring symptom development.

If you receive a message, you need to take a photo of your face against the background of the environment within 15 minutes, so you should always keep your smartphone close by. Messages won’t be sent at night.

If a person chooses self-isolation with the "Act at Home" app, he or she must confirm this decision when passing the passport control - first by informing his/her phone number and the address of the place of self-isolation, and then showing the appropriate application screen to the State Border Service employee.

You have 24 hours after installing the app to arrive at the destination where you plan to self-isolate. The app sends push notifications for selfies confirming your location – you have 15 minutes to do so. Local police are notified if the photo or geolocation do not match, if the app has been uninstalled or the phone has been turned off. If you are unable to install the app, you must go to a designated facility for observation.

You need to install the application by scanning the QR code on the information posters in the areas of passport control, or find "Act at home" by searching the App in Google Play  or App in Apple Store.


QR code for the App  "Act at home" (“Dii Vdoma”)

NOTE! Act at Home can only be installed with Ukrainian phone numbers (+380).

Medical Insurance

Foreigners and stateless persons are now allowed to cross the border into Ukraine provided they have an insurance policy certificate issued by a Ukraine-registered insurance company, or a foreign insurance company with an office in Ukraine or a contractual partnership with one of the Ukraine-registered insurance companies. The policy must cover the potential costs of COVID-19 treatment, observation, and be valid for the period of intended stay in Ukraine.

The policy must be issued by:

  • an insurance company registered in Ukraine;
  • a foreign insurance company with a representative office in Ukraine or a contractual relationship with a partner insurance company in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian health insurance coverage can be purchased online 

We recommend you the conclusion of online insurance through the state portal  Visitukraine.today  to avoid any doubts.

This requirement does not apply to:

  • foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine;
  • refugees and persons needing additional protection;
  • employees of diplomatic missions and consulates, representative offices of international missions and organizations accredited in Ukraine, members of their families;
  • military of NATO member states and Partnership for Peace member states participating in the training of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Red and Green Zone Countries

The Ukrainian Government designates countries as either “Red zone” or “Green zone” depending on covid-19 case numbers. They have created a ‘RED Zone’ country list and a ‘GREEN Zone’ country list.  What does it mean and why we need it? Depending in which Zone is your country, certain rules apply.Source: Visit Ukraine

Green zone” - less than 40 active cases per 100,000 population. People entering Ukraine from the “green zone” countries do not need self-isolation or observation.

"Red zone" countries are those where:

a) the number of new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the last 14 days exceeds the number of such cases in Ukraine; or

b) there is a more than 30% increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the country in the last 14 days compared to the previous 14 days.

Caution! Citizens of the “red zone” countries do not need to undergo self-isolation or observation if they arrive from the "green zone" countries and are able to confirm their stay in the “green zone” area within the last 14 days.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine is to update the number of active cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in other countries every three days.

So, first before going to Ukraine check in which Zone is your country: 

Map of GREEN and RED zone countries:
https://www.endcoronavirus.org/map-visualization    

Official statistic of Corona in countries:
https://covid19.rnbo.gov.ua/  

The list is updated weekly. See the current list (as of September 25) of Red Zone and Green Zone countries on the Ukrainian Ministry of Health website. 

Moving in Ukraine

If you plan to move around Ukraine or will be coming by car, pay attention to the zoning inside Ukraine. Adaptive quarantine is still ongoing in Ukraine, and this also applies to the Exclusion Zone. 

Ukraine is divided into four epidemiological zonesgreen, yellow, orange and red – based on hospitalization, testing and coronavirus infection numbers:

▪️ the occupancy of hospital beds designated for Covid-19 patients is more than 50% (yellow) / more than 70% (red) for 5 consecutive days;

▪️ the average number of PCR and IFA tests in the last 7 days is less than 24 per 100,000 population;

▪️ the number of cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the last 14 days exceeds 40 (is more than 5 times the national average – red);

Red, orange and yellow zones are reviewed every 14 days (the incubation period of the coronavirus disease).

Safety, Safety and Safety Again!

CHERNOBYLwel.come is closely monitoring the development of coronavirus. For us the health and safety of our tourists have been our top priority since 2008. During a pandemic, we continue to take care of you, our brave travelers! That's why we have made the best possible preparation for our tours.

Face Masks

Sorry, our dear travelers, but you won't see beautiful smiles of your tour guide and driver because of the face mask, but we hasten to tell you, we always smile no matter what! And you will see it in our eyes.  Coming to the Exclusion Zone you use a mask (including homemade mask) or respirator. We have one for you in case you forgot yours. Don't forget to cover your nose and mouth, and replace the mask every 3 hours.

Our buses will be equipped with a separate container with a lid and disposable plastic bags for centralized collection and subsequent disposal of used personal protective equipment (masks, respirators, gloves).

Temperature Screening

Before entering the bus in Kiev, your tour guide will use a strange device like a Star Wars gun. No worries, it's for temperature measurement by non-contact method.

“BANG, BANG”, a couple of seconds and you’ll see your body temperature. The same procedure will be at the Dityatky checkpoint. Persons with a temperature above 37.2 °C and those with symptoms of respiratory diseases - are not allowed to visit. If such a person is found, the whole group is not allowed to enter the Zone. No worries, full refund or a new date for your tour in the next days will be managed by us in no time.

Disinfection 

At the entrance to the bus, we arranged a place for hands disinfection with antiseptics. At stops, our driver will ventilate the interior of the vehicle and wipe the surfaces with antiseptic. There will be quite a big distance between the driver and you, with the use of a physical barrier (the driver's cab will be isolated from the passengers cabin). Even though our busses are spotless, after each visit to the Exclusion Zone, we clean our buses with detergents and disinfectants on all surfaces.

To sum it up, during pandemic all our tours will be provided with: 

  • non-contact temperature screening
  • protective masks, gloves and antiseptic FOR FREE
  • groups - no more than 15 people
  • distance between passengers
  • disinfected, safe buses

Before starting the tour, your guide will conduct training on the rules for using personal protective equipment, their disposal, inform about the location of antiseptics in the bus, and monitor compliance with these rules.

What To Do if You Think You Have Coronavirus While in Ukraine

  1. If you have signs of an acute respiratory infection (cough, fever, tiredness, etc.) – call your family and doctor.
  2. If you or a family member in addition to those symptoms are experiencing trouble breathing, high fever, diarrhea, feeling faint – call the emergency medical dispatch service x103
  3. The dispatcher will determine whether to send an ambulance.
  4. Air out your premises and put on a mask in preparation of the ambulance’s arrival.
  5. The ambulance workers will assess your condition and decide whether you should be hospitalized and whether to send someone to administer a Covid-19 test.

Covid-19 hotline in Ukraine: 1545

More Coronavirus-Related Travel Information

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine:
https://ua.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/ 

Ukrainian government links:
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine – Current information about coronavirus and quarantine in Ukraine
https://covid19.gov.ua/en 

Ministry of Health of Ukraine
https://moz.gov.ua/koronavirus-2019-ncov 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukrainе – country-by-country entry rules for visitors from Ukraine
https://tripadvisor.mfa.gov.ua/?page_id=1973

Cabinet of Ministers Resolution on COVID-19 Quarantine
https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/392-2020-%D0%BF#Text 

European Union:
Re-Open EU – entry requirements for EU countries
https://reopen.europa.eu/en 

And don’t forget please...

If you suspect that you are carrying the infection, stay at home, inform others who may have been infected, as well as the health service. Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to refund or reschedule your tour in such a case. Thank you for your understanding.

STAY SAFE TRAVELERS, AND SEE YOU IN CHERNOBYL.

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