Ukraine closes borders for foreigners due to COVID-19, significantly affecting the Hasidic pilgrimage to Uman
According to Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, this resolution with modifications should be published today, August 27, and that it should come into effect from 00:00 on August 29 and will be valid until 00:00 on September 28.
It is proposed to ban entry into the territory of the country to foreigners, except those next to the territory of our country and have documents confirming their departure within two days; those studying in educational institutions of our country; those undergoing military service in the armed forces; permanently reside on the territory of Ukraine and have the corresponding certificate; those recognized as refugees or persons in need of complementary protection; are employees of diplomatic missions and consular institutions of foreign States, representative offices of the official international missions and organizations accredited in Ukraine and members of their families, or arriving at the invitation of the foreign Ministry of Ukraine.
Note that the decision to close the borders will significantly affect the Hasidic pilgrimage to Uman, where the founder of Bratslav Hasidism, Tzadik Nahman, is buried. Uman is a place of mass pilgrimage for followers of his teachings. In autumn, 20-30 thousand Hasidic pilgrims from different countries come here to celebrate the Jewish New Year. In 2020, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on September 18-20.
There is no official ban on the entry of the Hasidim, but the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly decided to restrict their pilgrimage to Uman this year significantly.
On August 25, President Volodymyr Zelensky met with representatives of Jewish religious organizations in Ukraine and discussed the observance of anti-epidemic measures during the pilgrimage to Uman. He also called on rabbis to help avoid the massive crowds during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah.
At the request of the Prime Minister of Israel, on August 25, the government of Ukraine also decided to significantly restrict the Hasidic pilgrimage to Uman to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously reported that the arrival of tens of thousands of Hasidic pilgrims to the city to celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the traditional format this year is impossible.
As RISU previously reported, a group of 50 Hasidim who arrived on August 25 at the Boryspil airport from Tel Aviv, were unwilling to allow them entering into Ukraine for several hours, but then still let them in.
In Ukraine, as of August 27, 112,059 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the laboratory, including 1,974 cases per day. During the day, 39 fatal cases were recorded.