Ukraine’s Parliament Adopts Coronavirus Law in Emergency Session
17 March, 2020

Ukraine’s parliament gathered for an emergency session on March 17, to vote on a bill nicknamed the ‘coronavirus’ bill. The bill passed with 344 votes in favor.

The bill allows for several changes to Ukrainian law in favor of regulating the situation around the coronavirus:

  • Lowers the negotiation period to 1 day for purchasing goods and services that are necessary for the elimination and prevention of a coronavirus outbreak in Ukraine;

  • Allowing 100% prepayment for goods and services aimed at preventing and combating the possible outbreak;

  • Exempting goods and services aimed at combating the coronavirus from import duties and VAT;

  • Allowing Ukrainians the ability to work remotely or take holiday;

  • Allowing quarantine to be declared in force majeure situations;

  • Administrative penalties for breaking quarantine and criminal penalties for "knowingly infecting others";

  • Bonuses in the size of 200% of their salaries for health workers and staff working to prevent the outbreak;

  • Changes to paid leave in Ukraine’s Labor Code;

  • A ban on cancelling internally displaced persons' documents if they fail to confirm their identity in time (this ban will last for the duration of quarantine and 30 days after).

READ MORE: Ukraine's Cabinet Suspends Subway, Interregional Transport Operation

The measures were adopted with no discussion period, and are meant to function only for three months.

Failing to comply with the new quarantine and hygiene rules will lead to a fine between $640 and $1,280 for non-state officials (i.e. regular citizens) and between $1,280 and $6,400 for officials.

If someone's violations lead to the infection of other people, the fine will be increased to the maximum of $1,915 or restriction of freedom, or even imprisonment of up to 3 years. If that person dies because of the infection, the "culprit" faces between 5 and 8 years of imprisonment, the bill's text reads.

However, according to lawyer Eugene Krapyvin, Ukraine's legal framework does not know the term "quarantine" and fining or punishing people without a corresponding article in the Ukrainian Constitution is "impossible," the lawyer says.

Other than the "coronavirus bill," the MPs adopted the laws on making the state-funded medication more affordable for the nation and on supporting the taxpayers during the period of the quarantine. 

READ MORE: Ukrainian Parliament Provides Quarantine-Impacted Businesses With Benefits