KYIV (Reuters) -Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv will have to present vaccine certificates to use restaurants, gyms and public transport from Monday, the city authorities announced on Thursday after the country reported new record high daily COVID-19 cases.
The health ministry said Ukraine registered a record 26,071 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, exceeding the previous high of 23,785 on Oct. 22. The ministry’s data also showed 576 new coronavirus-related deaths.
“Ukraine is at the highest levels for the entire pandemic for each of the indicators – the number of new daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” Health Minister Viktor Lyashko told a televised briefing.
Ukraine’s pandemic tally of infections stands at 2.85 million, with 66,204 deaths.
The Ukrainian capital will tighten restrictions due to a spike in coronavirus cases, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at a televised briefing.
“We are imposing these severe restrictions because there are no other options to save the health and life of people, to prevent the collapse of the medical system, which may not be able to withstand such an influx of patients,” Klitschko said.
A government commission on Thursday declared Kyiv a ‘red zone’ area, a designation that carries the most severe restrictions. From Nov. 1, restaurants, gyms, shopping and entertainment facilities will only be allowed to operate if all staff are vaccinated.
These institutions are also prohibited from accepting visitors who do not have vaccination certificates or negative COVID-19 tests. A negative test or vaccine certificate will also be mandatory to use public transport.
The government has already made the vaccination compulsory for some state employees.
The new rules have prompted more people to get vaccinated but also provided more incentive for those who do not want vaccines to get fake ones.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets; Editing by Sam Holmes, Steve Orlofsky and Mark Porter)