Last updated April 16, 2021
Today’s Status, Looking Towards Summer 2021 — Green
We were very happy to have a group of volunteers in Ukraine for the Fall 2020 semester, Spring 2021 semester, and are excited at the prospect for a Summer 2021 semester here, as well.
Check below to get more details on some key aspects that we’re watching (it’s stuff you’re going to want to know). Also, this info can change often, so check back frequently.
Borders are open, and travelers from the U.S. can enter Ukraine either with a negative Covid-19 test result or they can test on arrival.
There is an additional health insurance requirement for travelers to Ukraine.
You don’t need a visa prior to arriving in Ukraine.
We get to this in a minute regarding vacations, but traveling out of the country may be a little tricky depending on the quarantine and border policies of the countries you may want to vacation to.
International flights have been open since the middle of June (except a brief closure in September) — a welcome change since on March 25, 2020, Ukraine closed its border for all scheduled passenger services.
Additionally, the US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine has resumed online scheduling of certain American Services (things like passport renewals and replacements). It’s a welcome update, especially since these services had been suspended for months.
As of April 16th, Ukraine has 951.9 active cases per 100,000 people. In comparison, the USA is currently averaging 2,090.9 cases. Healthcare in Kiev is good, with a number of quality private hospitals. Testing is available and happening, and the country has started vaccinating. There has been a steady decrease in new cases in Ukraine since about November which we are glad to see.
The school year began on September 7th and children are back in class.
You can plan on enjoying some of our favorite things to do in this part of the world. Similar to how things are at home, higher-risk places like buffet restaurants are still closed and there are some restrictions to be aware of.
Due to the rising number of infections, Kiev has instituted some stricker lockdowns until the middle of April: Theatres and shopping centres will be closed, spectators banned from sporting events, cafes and restaurants limited to providing takeaway food, schools will begin remote learning and all state employees will work from home.
Additionally, the government announced that the adaptive quarantine will be extended until April 30, 2021. Under the adaptive quarantine, public events have attendance caps, public transport (except the metro) will operate at 50% capacity, and restaurants will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Out & About
Expect to wear masks and social distance while visiting stores, riding buses, etc. Wearing masks that properly cover both the mouth and the nose is mandatory on public transportation and in public places. Individuals and establishments can be fined for not complying.
We have had volunteers in Ukraine since Fall 2020. You can get a glimpse into what living, teaching, and even traveling is like during their semester here, on the ILP takeover. Just find the Ukraine highlight at the top to see the most current semester’s takeover.
Volunteers will need to wear a mask while teaching, so be prepared for that.
Travel around the country is looking good. We’ve seen the country open up recently, with businesses, restaurants, public transportation, beaches, and more open to locals and tourists. We particularly loved seeing the metro open back up on May 25th. Right now, everyone is required to wear masks while on the metro (and observe social distancing as much as possible) so be prepared for that.
For the most part, transportation and hotels around Ukraine are open for business which is really good news for everyone.
Out of country travel is extremely limited now and may not be possible to many places. In a nutshell, in order for you to travel out of the country, that country has to let you in and Ukraine has to let you back. A lot of popular destinations in Europe aren’t allowing US travelers but potentially, volunteers may be able to check out places in south eastern Europe, spots like Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. That list could shrink or expand, but that’s what things are like now.
Also, remember that things change quickly, so buying airline tickets to travel to other countries could be risky. Italy or France or any other country could decide to close its borders after a ticket is bought but before the flight departs — that gets expensive! We’ll do our best to work with volunteers who have questions about different country’s current policies for those who want to look into traveling out of the country, if it’s even an option.
Can I still apply for Ukraine?
Absolutely! We currently have volunteers abroad for the Spring 2021 semester, so if you’re considering volunteering this Summer, we’d recommend getting a jump on your application ASAP! Or if you’re considering traveling in Fall 2021, or even Spring 2022, now is a great time to start your application for those semesters as well.
We are so excited for volunteers to be back in Ukraine!
What is traveling and living in Ukraine like right now?
For Ukraine, things have slowly been opening back up both for domestic and international tourism. We’re seeing some of the same precautions you’d take at home (like wearing a mask and social distancing). Just like there is a risk to go out in Utah right now, there will be risks to traveling anywhere, including Ukraine.