UARU
Coronavirus and Donbas: Demarcation Line Checkpoints to Temporarily Close
21 March, 2020
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The "Mayorsk" entry-exit checkpoint in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on November 25, 2016. Vyacheslav Ratnyskyi / UNIAN

The Joint Forces Operation Headquarters have announced that the checkpoints between the government-controlled and occupied parts of Ukraine's Donbas region will close from midnight on March 22.

This will be done with the aim of "effectively counteracting and preventing the spread of the coronavirus into the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government."

However, exceptions will be made for those who have critically important reasons for needing to cross the demarcation line that will be proven with the necessary documents.

The monitoring missions from the UN, OSCE, and ICRC will be able to cross as normal.

Earlier, the so-called "people's republics" also made statements saying that they will not be allowing people from the government-controlled Ukraine to enter.

The Russia-led separatists in Ukraine's Donetsk region said they're "closing the borders," but a Hromadske correspondent saw at least one person cross into the occupied territory. The man crossing told Hromadske that "those that cross by foot are allowed in, but cars aren't."

In the occupied part of the Luhansk region, the self-proclaimed head of the "republic" Leonid Pasichnyk signed a decree to ban all crossing from government-controlled Ukraine. The document reads that it will go into effect from midnight on March 23.

READ MORE: Communication is Key in Coronavirus Prevention in Conflict Zone - Red Cross in Ukraine