How is Ukraine for solo travelers

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Current

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic as well as adverse effects on public life.

Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Ukraine will be currently warned.

Epidemiological situation

Ukraine was badly affected by COVID-19, but the number of new infections has fallen again. Nationwide, the number of new infections exceeds 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why Ukraine is classified as a risk area.
The Ukrainian government and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.

entry

All foreigners without a Ukrainian residence permit must present a negative PCR test result on entry, regardless of their country of origin. Children under the age of 12 are exempt. The test must not be older than 72 hours at the time of crossing the border. A self-test, antibody test or proof of vaccination does not exempt you from submitting the negative PCR test result. There is no way to carry out the PCR test on site or to go into quarantine instead of a test.

In addition, proof of health insurance must be provided, which includes the costs of treatment and observation for suspected COVID-19 disease. The proof must be submitted in English or Ukrainian. The insurance company must be registered in Ukraine or have an agency or partner (Assistance) in Ukraine. If the negative PCR test result or proof of insurance is not presented, entry may be refused. Details can be found on the official website “Visit Ukraine Today”.

Foreign nationals with a Ukrainian residence permit and Ukrainian nationals require a negative PCR test for entry, which must not be older than 72 hours at the time of entry. Alternatively, self-isolation can be selected using the “Dii vdoma” mobile phone application, which must already be set up when entering the country. The mandatory self-isolation of 14 days can be shortened by a negative PCR test at an approved test center after entry. Children under 12 years of age are exempt from submitting a PCR test and self-isolation.

An entry ban or restrictions on international travel are currently not planned, but cannot be ruled out.

Transit and onward travel

A number of EU Member States have entry restrictions for people arriving from Ukraine.

Transit travelers are exempt from submitting the test result and health insurance, provided they do not leave the transit zone of the airport during the transfer. In this case there is no entry, but the entry conditions of the final destination country must be taken into account.

Travel connections

There are no government restrictions on international travel. However, due to the low occupancy rate, flight connections in particular can change at short notice.

Restrictions in the country

An adaptive quarantine applies until June 30, 2021. Depending on the location, an area (oblast) is classified by color. The colors (green, yellow, orange, red) express the respective rules in this area. Regardless of the classification, every person has to carry an ID and observe the basic hygiene rules. Further information on the rules and classifications of the oblasts will be published by the Ukrainian government.

Hygiene rules

Mouth and nose protection is mandatory in public places, but not outdoors. This also applies to public transport. Hygiene and health measures must be observed in public transport as well as in shops and restaurants.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities.
  • Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

Security - Partial Travel Warning

Before traveling to the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk administrative districts that are not controlled by the Ukrainian government and to the following government-controlled areas along the so-called "contact line" is warned:

  • in the Donetsk region: districts (rayon) Wolnovacha, Volodarsk, Wuhlehirsk, Marjinka, city of Avdiivka, city of Torezk, the southern parts of the districts of Kostyantynivka (not: City of Kostyantyniwka) and Bachmut (not: City of Bachmut)
  • in the Luhansk region: Popasna and Novoajdar districts (rayon)

Particular caution is requested when traveling to other places or districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

We strongly advise against traveling to the Crimean peninsula.

terrorism

Attacks and kidnappings, including by foreign journalists and international observers, have occurred in the conflict region of Eastern Ukraine in particular. The risk of attacks in other parts of the country cannot be ruled out either.

Domestic situation

Eastern Ukraine

Armed clashes have been taking place in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk administrative districts) since spring 2014. Parts of these administrative districts are currently not controlled by the Ukrainian government, but by separatist forces. The Ukrainian armed forces and the armed forces of the insurgents face each other on the so-called "contact line", on which daily fighting occurs.
There is also a risk of mines and unexploded ammunition.
The areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government are subject to a special access regime under Ukrainian law. Consular protection cannot currently be granted to German nationals there.

Crimea

Under international law, Crimea still belongs to Ukraine, but is currently actually controlled by Russia. Since June 2015, travel to the Crimea from the Ukrainian mainland requires an entry permit from the responsible Ukrainian authority, which is only issued under certain conditions, but never for tourist purposes.
Entry into Crimea via Russian territory, including by air or sea, constitutes a violation of Ukrainian laws (illegal entry) and may result in a ban on entry into Ukraine and, under certain circumstances, criminal prosecution. Ports and airports in Crimea are closed.
Consular protection cannot currently be granted in Crimea.

As a result of a conflict in the Black Sea at the end of November 2018, in which Ukrainian naval ships were shot at and captured by Russian border patrol boats, men with (also) Russian citizenship between the ages of 16 and 60 are still subject to stricter entry regulations, see Entry and customs.

Rest of the country

In the other parts of the country, especially the capital Kiev and other large cities, there are also regular larger demonstrations. Even if these are mostly peaceful, violent conflicts and traffic disruptions cannot be ruled out.

  • If you are traveling to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, please contact the Donetsk Consulate General (Dnipro headquarters) before you leave.
  • Find out about the local media.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds in large areas.
  • Always follow the instructions of local security personnel.

crime

The crime rate is comparatively low. Trick thieves are common. In isolated cases, foreigners were lured, for example, with the promise of establishing acquaintances via the Internet, then abducted and only released on payment of a ransom.
Overall, a certain increase in violent crime has been noted, especially in places that are difficult to see and difficult to see, such as metro stations.
In rare cases, attacks on foreigners have been recorded for which racist, xenophobic or homophobic motives cannot be ruled out.
Knockout drops and credit card fraud are also occasionally used in bars and clubs.

In Ukraine, it is customary to stop private cars and have them transported for a fee, which can be dangerous for foreign travelers.
German license plates were stolen relatively often. New license plates can only be requested from the registration authority in Germany with the loss certificate from the police and the registration papers. Vehicles may not be driven on public roads without a license plate.

  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Keep an eye on your hand luggage during searches as part of security checks at airports and check the contents for completeness on site after returning it.
  • When changing tires, lock the vehicle doors as a precaution to prevent the risk of theft.
  • For your own safety, do not stop if other road users suspect breakdowns - especially on lonely country roads.
  • License plates should be firmly attached, vehicles should be parked in guarded parking lots if possible.
  • If your license plate is stolen, please report it immediately to the responsible police authority and inform the insurance company.
  • For your own safety, do not take strangers with you on the way.
  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, train stations, in the subway, on the bus and watch out for your valuables.
  • Avoid discussions about allegedly found amounts of money, picking up purses or similar apparently lost items, and showing purses.
  • Do not leave drinks unattended in bars and clubs.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

The climate is temperate continental, subtropical in the southern part of the Crimean peninsula.

Especially in the summer months, bush and forest fires occur again and again in the east and south of Ukraine due to the prevailing climatic conditions. Impairment of the infrastructure in tourist areas must be expected in these cases.

In western Ukraine, floods and landslides can occur in the winter and spring months after the melting of ice and snow.

  • Always observe prohibitions, signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There are good rail and domestic air connections. There are subways in Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnipro.

A nuclear reactor accident occurred in Chernobyl in 1986. The 30 km area was declared a restricted area. The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA informs about the accident and its consequences. The visit requires a permit and is only possible in an organized manner.

Due to poor road conditions, often missing road markings and in places unpredictable obstacles on the road, there is a significantly increased risk of accidents.
The maximum permitted speed on motorways is 130 km / h, on two-lane country roads 110 km / h, on country roads 90 km / h and since the beginning of 2018 in the city center 50 km / h.
The 0.0 per mil limit applies. There are often speed controls.

There is no handicapped accessible infrastructure, not even in public facilities.

Travelers occasionally report being asked to pay fees or fines by police, border guards, customs officers or other government officials for which the legal basis is unknown. Ukrainian police officers have no right to collect fines or penalties in cash. In the event of a traffic violation, you will always receive a fine that you have to pay to a bank before leaving Ukraine.

  • Avoid driving overland at night.
  • For taxi rides, negotiate the price before you start or use one of the popular smartphone apps.
  • Always insist on a receipt when paying fees and fines. In addition to the amount, this should also reveal the legal basis.
  • Insist on consulting a supervisor or request that a formal record be taken at the nearest police station.
  • If you are coerced, make a note of the time and place of the event, the name and service number of the officer and inform the anti-corruption department of the Ministry of the Interior.
  • Take organized tours to Chernobyl only and inquire about the safety instructions of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management.

Driver's license

The German driving license is valid and sufficient for a short stay.

Minors

Minors traveling alone should have a declaration of consent from their parents in Ukrainian (if possible with notarial certification and apostille).

LGBTIQ

Homosexuality has not been a criminal offense in Ukraine since 1991. Nevertheless, also due to the clear positioning of the churches, there are still clear reservations in society against LGBTIQ people. Occasionally, in connection with LGBTIQ events, venues are occupied and their participants are attacked. The police are usually cooperative in protecting the events, but there is often a lack of subsequent criminal prosecution.

Since 2016 there have been no more incidents at the annual Kyiv Pride (Equality March) with several thousand participants, as the event was protected by a large number of law enforcement officers and counter-demonstrators were kept away. Public LGBTIQ events (Odessa, Cherson, Krywy Rih, Zaporozhye, etc.) were also held in other cities under considerable police protection. Nevertheless, there were individual cases of physical attacks on participants after the events.

In the Russian-annexed Crimea and in the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk administrative districts that are not controlled by the Ukrainian government, the conditions for LGBTIQ people have deteriorated drastically, among other things due to the criminal prosecution of "homosexual propaganda" there. Transgender people are stigmatized and discriminated against as mentally ill.

  • For your own safety, be cautious in public and avoid visible exchanges of affection.
  • In connection with LGTBIQ events, follow the advice of the organizers and forego visibility before and after the event, also by avoiding symbols.
  • Please also note the general information on LGBTIQ.

Legal specifics

Driving a vehicle while drunk or under the influence of drugs is consistently punished. If the driver eludes a medical examination after a routine check, this can be punished with a fine of up to approx. 700 euros or a driver's license withdrawn for 3-4 years.

A repeated violation within one year is punishable by revocation of the driver's license for 4-5 years and confiscation of the vehicle or 10-15 days administrative arrest plus vehicle confiscation. People who are unable to show their driver's license during an inspection can expect a fine of approx. 1000 euros and the vehicle may be confiscated.

The penalties for drug offenses are much higher in Ukraine than in Germany. There is a risk of several years in prison for importing, possessing, transporting or using even small amounts of soft drugs. Drug smuggling or trafficking in drugs within Ukraine is punishable by imprisonment of up to twelve years.

Be careful when photographing technical equipment. Military facilities should generally not be photographed. It cannot be ruled out that charges of espionage will be brought on the basis of such photos. If convicted on this basis, there is a risk of at least eight years imprisonment in Ukraine.

When exporting art and cultural goods as well as foreign exchange, but also other objects, attention is required. The Ukrainian customs and border authorities strictly monitor compliance with import and export regulations. Even minor violations can lead to high fines. In the event of a violation, foreigners can expect lengthy investigations during which they cannot leave the country or pretrial detention is imposed.

In the case of child abduction to Ukraine, the abduction of children can only be expected with the consent of the abduction parent. Although the Hague Child Withdrawal Convention (HKC) is applicable in Ukraine, it is inadequately implemented by Ukraine. Even legally binding return decisions by Ukrainian courts have so far not actually been enforced against the will of the withdrawing parent, especially the Ukrainian mother.

  • Pay attention to the prohibition of alcohol and drugs while driving.
  • Stay away from drugs.
  • Do not photograph military facilities.
  • Before exporting items purchased in Ukraine, find out more from the relevant authorities.

Money / credit cards

The national currency is the hryvnia (UAH). Money can be withdrawn from ATMs anywhere in the country using debit and credit cards. Operators sometimes charge fees for this, maximum amounts for withdrawals vary. The acceptance of credit cards is high. Euro banknotes you bring with you can easily be exchanged for the local currency.

  • Please watch out for any traces of manipulation on the vending machine; occasionally fraudsters try to intercept the account information by mounting an attachment on the card slot or the keyboard. Have your cash card blocked immediately if it should be withdrawn by a machine.
  • Keep an eye on credit cards during the payment process to avoid making copies.
  • Only use your card with trustworthy recipients.
  • Never take more than your daily cash requirement with you.
  • Please note the regulations for importing foreign currency.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes.
  • Temporary passport: Yes.
  • Identity card: No.
  • Provisional identity card: No.
  • Children's passport: Yes.

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Entry documents must be valid on the day of entry. If a passport has expired on the day of departure, a fine can be imposed.

Entry into Ukraine with lost and later found passports, the loss of which has been reported to the police, is usually not possible and leads to rejection at the border or, if an attempt is made to enter the country by air to the country of the last departure with the next available one Plane. A longer stay, including several days, in the transit area of ​​the airport must be expected.

Since the end of November 2018, men with (also) Russian citizenship between the ages of 16 and 60 have been subject to a stricter review of the purpose of travel to Ukraine. If anything is unclear, they should generally be refused entry to Ukraine.

visa

German citizens do not need a visa for entry and for stays of up to 90 days each 180 days.
The days spent in Ukraine within the rolling six months prior to the inspection date are added together; the number of entries within six months is unlimited.
If you want to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days at a time, regardless of the purpose of the trip, you need a visa, which must be obtained from the Ukrainian diplomatic mission responsible for your place of residence in Germany before you start your journey. Adherence to the 90-day rule is checked; in addition to paying a fine, violating the rule can also result in an entry ban. The State Migration Service offers a residence calculator.

The consular department of the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin provides information about the current visa regulations.

Collection of biometric data

When people over the age of 18 enter and leave the country, biometric data should be recorded (in particular by scanning fingerprints), which can also affect German nationals. The refusal can lead to a refusal of entry.

Proof of funding

When entering Ukraine, foreigners must provide evidence of financial security for the entire period of their planned stay in Ukraine. The amount of coverage is determined as 20 times the subsistence level (currently UAH 2007) for one person per month. Sufficient funds for the stay + 5 days must be proven. Depending on the exchange rate (e.g. July 2019), this results in an amount of approx. 1,355 euros per month or approx. 45 euros per day + approx. 340 euros. Cash, bank statements, current credit card statements and credit cards, the host's declaration of commitment, tickets and hotel reservations serve as proof of financial security.

  • Please bring the relevant evidence with you.

Compulsory health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory for travelers to Ukraine.

HIV test

There are legal provisions according to which foreigners who stay in the country for more than three months and want to work or study there must prove a negative HIV test upon entry or, alternatively, have a test carried out in the country. If the test result is positive, expulsion must be expected according to these regulations.

Entry with a car

When entering by car, waiting times of several hours can be expected at the border crossing points. As proof of the lawful use of the vehicle, the owner entered in the vehicle registration document must belong to the occupants of the vehicle or carry a written authorization from the vehicle owner to use it. This should include a signature certification, apostille and a translation into the Ukrainian language.

In addition, a vehicle insurance valid for Ukraine is mandatory for entry into the country. The easiest way to provide this evidence is to use the international insurance card for road traffic ("green insurance card"), which is usually provided free of charge by German insurance companies.

Extension of stay

People who entered Ukraine without a visa cannot extend their stay in Ukraine. Ukrainian visa holders who wish to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days must apply for an extension of the stay no later than three working days before the end of these 90 days. This is usually done at the Ukrainian passport and registration office responsible for the place of residence (“WHIRFO” - former name: “OWIR”). An extension of the length of stay is not possible for all Ukrainian visa types.

Travel by foreigners and stateless persons to and from the Crimea and the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk administrative districts not controlled by the Ukrainian government

The entry and exit of foreigners and stateless persons in the Crimea and in the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk administrative districts not controlled by the Ukrainian government is only permitted via a regular Ukrainian border crossing or the checkpoints set up for this purpose in Ukraine. In addition, a special permit is required for this. Details can be found on the following websites:

Any other entry into the Crimea or these areas (e.g. via Russia) without first passing a Ukrainian border crossing or a checkpoint set up for this purpose is a criminal offense.

Travelers who have traveled to Crimea and the areas of eastern Ukraine not under Ukrainian control via routes other than Ukrainian border crossings must therefore expect prosecution for illegally staying in Ukraine the next time they visit Ukraine.

Import regulations

The State Customs Service of Ukraine is responsible for customs issues relating to imports and exports to and from Ukraine.

Direct inquiries or complaints in Ukrainian or Russian to the State Customs Service of Ukraine, tel .: +380 44 481 20 41, e-mail: [email protected] or write a message in the complaint handling system.

The Ukrainian customs can confiscate the luggage or parts of it that you have brought with you if this has been incorrectly declared or if you have not declared goods that are subject to declaration according to the statutory provisions.

  • If in doubt, fill out a written customs declaration upon arrival.

There are known cases in which the declaration required by the applicable rules was not accepted by customs upon entry. When the goods were exported, they were then confiscated because they had not been declared upon entry.

  • If you have any doubts, have the relevant laws show you and have a written confirmation that the goods you have imported do not have to be declared or insist that your declaration of imported baggage be acknowledged.

Import and export of foreign currency

Private individuals are allowed to import and export up to 10,000 euros (or the equivalent of this amount in another currency, including Ukrainian according to the current exchange rate of the National Bank of Ukraine) in cash, checks or bank precious metals without registration. Any additional amounts must be declared. Legal persons can bring in or take out unlimited amounts of cash through a representative; the amounts must be reported in any case. For amounts over 10,000 euros, proof of origin (e.g. bank confirmation of the cash withdrawal, not older than 30 days) must always be presented.

Import of vehicles

Persons with permanent residence abroad can only use cars with foreign registration for temporary stays of up to thirty days without additional formalities in Ukraine. If a stay in Ukraine of more than thirty days is planned, further steps are required. The Ukrainian Customs (for customs clearance) and the local service points of the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior (regarding the approval requirements) can provide more information.

Export regulations for cultural goods from Ukraine

The export of the following cultural goods is strictly prohibited:

  • Cultural goods included in the state register of national cultural achievements,
  • Cultural goods belonging to the national archive fund,
  • Cultural goods belonging to the Museum Fund of Ukraine.

“Cultural goods” are objects of material and spiritual culture that have an artistic, historical, ethnographic or scientific meaning.
As a rule, there are licensing requirements for the export of objects that were made before 1960 (postage stamps before 1991). Further information can be obtained from the Kiev city administration's commission of experts. The address is: wul. Tarasa Shevchenka 3, Kiev, 2nd floor, rooms 208 and 209, phone: + 38044-2795647 and + 38044-2795340. There are other expert commissions in Lviv, Chernivtsi and Odessa.

Precious stones (amethyst, topaz, aquamarine, malachite, turquoise, diamonds and brilliant-cut diamonds) are generally not allowed. The same goes for amber, mother-of-pearl, coral, ivory and inlaid work.