Ukraine Locks Down Region Where President Posed for Ski Selfies

Ukraine locked down the region that’s home to its most-popular ski spot, just weeks after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posed for photographs on slopes there that have remained open throughout the winter, despite the pandemic.

Cinemas, nightclubs and on-site dining at restaurants in the Ivano-Frankivsk region -- which borders Romania -- will be closed for a week starting Monday following a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The Bukovel ski resort, which Zelenskiy visited last month, will continue to work with social-distancing measures and mask mandates -- as will shopping centers and other sports facilities.

Until April, most of Ukraine is under less strict regimes that shift depending on the spread of the disease, which has killed almost 25,000 people. While ski venues were a major driver of the virus’s initial spread through Europe early last year, other countries on the continent are also currently permitting winter sports.

Ukraine’s deputy health minister, Viktor Lyashko, said the situation in Ivano-Frankivsk is approaching critical, with Covid-19 wards 70% full and some patients being treated in neighboring regions.

The government has faced criticism of late for failing to secure supplies of vaccines. It plans to inoculate at least half of the 42 million population by the start of 2022.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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