Ukraine to further restrict public transport in Kiev

By Ilya Zhegulev

By Ilya Zhegulev

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine is further restricting the use of public transport in its capital Kiev as it battles to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Kiev has already imposed travel restrictions, closing the metro from March 17 and allowing no more than 10 people to travel on buses and trams.

Ukraine has reported 41 cases of the virus and three deaths.

Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday passenger travel would be banned from Sunday except for emergency workers and others such as pharmacy staff. Later the city's mayor said the ban would be imposed from Monday March 23.

Avakov added that only "crucial industrial infrastructure enterprises" should remain working and the rest should be closed, with people staying at home.

"We will think about losses and compensations and decide later when we survive!" Avakov said, listing doctors, military staff, law enforcement officers, pharmacists, emergency workers, grocery store staff and utility employees as being exempt from any ban.

"The rest - do not leave home! I ask you to! Look at what's happening in the world - let's protect ourselves as much as possible."

In a video message Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko said the capital’s public transport would from Monday only carry passengers travelling to enterprises which provide critical aspects of the city’s life.

He said restrictions would not affect private transport.


(Reporting by Ilya Zhegulev; Editing by Katya Golubkova and David Holmes)