KIEV, March 26./TASS/. President Vladimir Zelensky said on Thursday that the state border will be shut down for all Ukrainians who will fail to return home by the end of March 27.
"By the end of Friday, March 27, the state border will be closed and all passenger transportation will be stopped," the president said speaking on television.
The president reiterated that two weeks ago he urged Ukrainian nationals to immediately return home. According to him, most of them did it on their own, while more than 80,000 Ukrainians were repatriated on planes, trains and buses.
"Today, we have no more time left for waiting. We are facing a difficult choice between the nationals who are still abroad and the safety of 40 million citizens in the country. Our duty, as the state, is to take care about every Ukrainian national," Zelensky stressed.
He said that diplomatic missions abroad would take care of those failing to get back home within the next two days. "Nobody will forget about any Ukrainian national staying abroad. We will be gradually returning you from abroad, but with due regard for the epidemiological situation at the site where you stay, as well as the possibility to provide all necessary means and readiness of the medical system for your compulsory isolation," the president pledged.
Meanwhile, a train is expected to depart from Kiev to Moscow on March 27 to repatriate Russians who want to return home, while on the way back it bring home Ukrainian nationals staying in Russia.
The World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. As of now, over 480,000 people have been infected around the world and about 22,000 have died.