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Life Slows, But Doesn’t Freeze: Kyiv Under Quarantine (PHOTOS)
1 April, 2020
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Kontraktova Square is nearly deserted, and the Ferris wheel is still. Kyiv, Ukraine, March 29, 2020. Photo: Anastasiya Vlasova / hromadske

This is the second week that Kyiv residents are living under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. On March 25, the Ukrainian government announced an emergency situation throughout the country, and extended the quarantine for an additional thirty days – until April 24. Pedestrians and tourists on the capital’s streets have become a rare sight, while law enforcement officers have multiplied, due to increased patrol routes.

Public transport in Kyiv has been effectively shut down since March 23 – the public transport left only carries workers with special permits – medical personnel and employees of pharmacies, ambulances, law enforcement, utilities, and grocery store workers – as well as workers at strategic enterprises. Walking or using personal transport isn’t forbidden, however.

Police officers and National Guardsmen patrol Kontraktova Square in Kyiv, Ukraine. March 29, 2020.

Photo: Anastasiya Vlasova / Hromadske

The quarantine continues for all educational facilities, and everything has been moved to online classes. But unlike many European countries – whose citizens are restricted to talking and socializing only on balconies – Ukrainians are spending a lot of time outside.

While cafes and restaurants are closed, Ukraine’s youths have found other places to hang out, play, or practice sports. While the government has asked Ukrainians to maximally self-isolate, the newly sunny days are pulling Kyiv residents out into the fresh air.

Girls play on a planter while walking outside in the fresh air. Kyiv, Ukraine, March 28, 2020.

Photo: Anastasiya Vlasova / hromadske

Elderly people are most at risk from the coronavirus. Doctors and the World Health Organization have recommended that the elderly stay indoors and not socialize with other people who can get them sick.

Benches, beloved by Kyiv’s elderly residents, which dot nearly every single courtyard and garden in the city, now sit empty.

SEE ALSO: How Coronavirus Changed the Life of Ukrainian Capital (PHOTOS)

Stores and pharmacies have introduced restrictions for customers – you can only enter wearing a protective mask, only a few people at a time, and the workers are always wearing protective gear like gloves and masks.

In Kyiv’s historic Podil neighborhood, tourists and pedestrians have nearly disappeared, even in car-free zones. The Ferris wheel installed on the square has stopped turning. The only thing that Kyiv residents still do, unchanged, is walk their dogs – since it’s difficult to explain the concept of quarantine to them.

Pedestrians walking their dogs in Kyiv’s historic Podil neighborhood, Kyiv, Ukraine. March 28, 2020.

Photo: Anastasiya Vlasova / hromadske

/ by Anastasia Vlasova, translated by Romeo Korkiatski

For all the latest updates on the coronavirus in Ukraine, follow this link.