Ukraine bans air travel due to quarantine: what passengers need to know
At midnight, on the night of March 16-17, 2020, Ukraine bans air traffic with other countries. This restriction is introduced for two weeks. Until that time, Ukrainians, who are abroad now, should manage to return home, as stated by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi.
“Three days later, we will close regular air traffic. You should return home within this period. Those who do not have time to do so for objective reasons should contact the Ukrainian consulate. In cooperation with Ukrainian airlines, they will be returned home by non-scheduled flights,” the President said.
Upon returning to the country, all Ukrainians will undergo a medical examination. And if it reveals signs of COVID-2019 disease, they will be sent for observation.
What do passengers need to know?
The UIA airline has already issued a statement in connection with the cancelation of flights:
- UIA flights will take place until the end of the day March 16;
- Charter flights scheduled for dates after March 16 will be scheduled only for the return of tourists to Ukraine;
- Ukrainians who do not manage to return home during March 15-16 will have to apply to the foreign consulates of Ukraine.
- UIA promises that it will facilitate the return of Ukrainians home. However, it warns that the number of available seats on the company’s regular scheduled flights on March 15 and 16 is limited. The company will launch additional flights to take the Ukrainian citizens home.
- As many passengers will be accepted onboard as there are seats on the plane. For most flights, the layout of the cabin in a full economy class will be introduced.
- The procedure for reissuing tickets of those passengers whose flights are canceled will be published on the company’s website.
Wizzair reports that it suspends flights to Poland and Moldova from March 15, in addition to Italian flights. The company indicates that if the user purchased tickets for canceled flights, they will be contacted by email.
SkyUP reported that it would be possible to return to Ukraine with flights of this airline the latest on March 16, 2020. Those who cannot manage it are advised to contact the Ukrainian consulates abroad.
The company emphasizes that quarantine is a force majeure, and therefore, if there are seats available, you can exchange your ticket for the flight with a return no later than March 16, 23:59, without penalty To do this, contact [email protected].
If a passenger bought a ticket abroad for the period of the ban, he will be able to rebook them for a later date. You can cancel the ticket. In this case, the refund is in accordance with the ticket type conditions, for this, you need to contact [email protected] (if the ticket was purchased on the website of the air carrier).
Ryanair informed that from March 13 to March 31, 2020 passengers can reschedule tickets for other flights without penalties due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. This will apply to tickets already purchased and future purchases. This does not apply to passengers whose flights have been canceled: they can count on a refund or free reschedule for another flight.
Since March 17, 2020, Ukraine has banned not only air traffic but also railway and bus services to other countries. Ukrainians will still be able to cross the border on their own transport. This restriction is introduced for two weeks. This is stated on the NSDC (National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine) website.
It should be borne in mind that several European countries, including Poland, Slovakia, and Moldova, restricted entry to foreigners.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends the citizens who are abroad in countries where there are cases of COVID-19 to register with the DRUH (Voluntary Registration of Ukrainian Citizens) resource. This monitoring system is used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in case of emergency: in order to quickly contact such citizens, etc.