On 26 May 2020, the European Union handed over personal protective equipment to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine who is the first point of contact for travellers entering the country. The equipment includes 1,000 protective FFP2 respirators, 1,000 medical gloves, 1,000 glasses, 800 face shields, 700 medical isolation coveralls, 1000 medical boot covers and 79 non-contact thermometers. The supplied personal protective equipment will contribute to the agency’s capacity to ensure continuous and safe processing of people crossing the border and thus allow to continue delivering their functions in the COVID-19 conditions. The assistance is provided through the EU-funded project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine (EU4IBM)”.
“This equipment will help protect Ukrainian border guards in doing their important job. This is a small but important part of the EU support to beat COVID-19. We stand with Ukrainians during this unprecedented crisis,” said Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Ambassador Matti Maasikas.
It is the first part of the project’s COVID-19-related support that will also include the supply of the same personal protection equipment to the State Customs of Ukraine and two stationary thermal screening systems to the State Border Guard Service at a later stage.
“The Ukrainian border guards and customs officers are the first to meet the travellers in Ukraine, due to the nature of their duty they cannot avoid physical contact with travellers and are continuously exposed to potential risk of infection whether they deal with persons crossing the border or process the cargo. In order to enhance their occupational safety and support the continuity of their operation, the Project handed over the so needed protective means to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine,” said EU4IBM Team Leader Arunas Adomenas.
While the overall international travel restriction is generally in force in Ukraine, special charter flights with Ukrainians returning home and foreign citizens with residence permit are still operating. Some of the automobile border crossing points and cargo terminals at seaports are active as well.