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Ukraine travel guide

About Ukraine

Vast and mysterious to many, Ukraine is barely known to outsiders despite being one of the largest countries in Europe. Long-associated with its colossal neighbour Russia, it's a country that stands out in its own right for its varied landscapes and surprising cultural diversity.

To the majority of those visiting for the first time, the reputation of Ukraine's hardy inhabitants can seem formidable. But while, much like in neighbouring Russia, cracking a smile at a stranger in the street is deemed a sure sign of madness, locals tend to be a thoroughly welcoming lot once you've broken the ice. Before long they'll be showing you round the sights and inviting you to their home for a steaming borscht – the country's iconic beetroot soup.

Ukraine's natural side is also seen as tough – and it's true that in winter snow covers most of the land as temperatures plummet. During the rest of the year, though, it's surprisingly clement. What's more, with its largely unspoilt, verdant interior, Ukraine is ideal for hikers and cyclists.

The Carpathian Mountains that spill over the border with Poland, Hungary and Romania dominate the west of the country while flat plains carpeted with sunflowers and cereals make up much of the central and eastern region. To the south are the almost Mediterranean-like Black Sea coast and the Crimean Peninsula, which remains a huge draw for holidaymakers every summer. And even when snow falls through the winter, the landscape is beautiful, while there are many old churches and Soviet-era buildings to dive into for shelter.

Ukraine's capital, Kiev, founded in the eighth century, displays a heady mix of architecture befitting of a city that was once capital of Kievan Rus, the precursor of the modern Russian state. A wealth of baroque and Renaissance architecture can also be found in Lviv, one of Europe's oldest cities, while Odessa is probably best known for the Potemkin Stairway that featured in Sergei Eisenstein's epic film The Battleship Potemkin.

Recently, Ukraine has been in the news for the wrong reasons due to Russian separatism on the border. Despite this, most of the country is completely safe for visitors.

Key facts

Area:

603,700 sq km (233,090 sq miles).

Population:

42,418,235 (2017).

Population density:

73.6 per sq km.

Capital:

Kiev.

Government:

Republic.

Head of state:

President Wolodymyr Selenskyj since 2019.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal since 2020.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ukraine on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Commercial flights are operating to and from Ukraine on a limited number of routes. Check with your travel company for the latest information.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Ukraine.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities (available in Ukrainian only).

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Ukraine

Domestic flights are operating, although some carriers are operating a reduced schedule. Public transport in cities and bus and train travel between regions are also operating on a reduced scale. From 21 October, you will need a vaccine certificate or negative PCR or express-test taken within 72 hours of travel, if travelling inter-city (by train, bus or plane) to or from a “yellow”, “orange” or “red” zone.

Quarantine measures

Coronavirus measures are in place until 31 December 2021, but may be extended further. Ukraine is operating a colour-coded adaptive quarantine system on a regional (oblasts and Kyiv city) basis. Some oblasts and cities have imposed additional measures beyond their official “zone” and these measures may be imposed, and change, at short notice. You should check which restrictions apply to the places you intend to visit, and be ready to prove your vaccination status.

In all zones, the following rules apply:

  • you must carry ID with you at all times
  • when in public buildings (including restaurants, hotels and shops) you must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m.
  • when in public buildings, and while travelling on public transport and in taxis, you must wear a protective mask covering your nose and mouth

Failure to comply with restrictions may result in a fine or, in more serious cases, a prison sentence. Before taking public transport, you should consider whether you will be able to maintain social distancing.

In regions classified as “green” zones, there are minimal restrictions beyond mask-wearing and distancing.

In “yellow” and “orange” zones, there are size limits imposed on outdoor mass events, and capacity limits for indoor hospitality, entertainment, cultural, fitness, retail and educational establishments. These restrictions can be waived if 80% of staff are vaccinated.

In “red” zones, the following conditions apply. There are exemptions if organisations can demonstrate that 100% of staff / customers / participants are vaccinated or have recent negative COVID-19 test results:

  • the hospitality sector (except for takeaway or delivery), entertainment and cultural facilities, shopping malls, non-essential retail, gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools must close
  • public events are prohibited
  • supermarkets and other grocery stores, pharmacies, veterinary supplies shops, banks and petrol stations can open
  • public transport can still operate

Accommodation

Hotel accommodation remains open under the present quarantine rules, but hostels should be closed in yellow, orange or red zones. In red zones, hotels have further restrictions placed on them, and their restaurant facilities are likely to be closed. When staying in a hotel, you must adhere to the overall rules regarding masks and minimum distancing. If possible, check in online in advance to avoid check-in queues at the hotel.

Further information can be found at Visit Ukraine.

Public places and services

In green, yellow and orange zones, the majority of services should be open, including shops, restaurants, cafes, religious establishments, beauty salons and hairdressers, museums, libraries, gyms, fitness centres, swimming pools, hardware stores, cobblers, dentists, auditors, lawyers and notaries (providing appropriate hygiene and distancing measures are in place). The number of visitors to shopping centres, restaurants and sports facilities should be limited.

In red zones, only supermarkets and other grocery stores, pharmacies, veterinary supplies shops, banks and petrol stations can open.

Parks and public outdoor spaces are open.

Visas

The State Migration Service has published advice that there will be no penalties for foreigners who were staying in Ukraine legally when restrictions on leaving the country were introduced and who have not been able to leave, to apply to extend the period of their stay and/or to exchange their resident permits. This measure is limited to the period in which national quarantine measures are in force.

Where the restrictions on travel and availability of government services mean that foreigners stay in Ukraine beyond the period permitted by their visa-free limit or visa validity, or that they are unable to extend residence permits, there will be no penalties imposed. However, anyone who has overstayed their 90 day visa-free regime during quarantine will not be able to return to Ukraine for 90 days after leaving the country. See Entry requirements

Healthcare in Ukraine

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a dry cough, respiratory difficulties, and a high temperature, you should:

  • if you have insurance or a private medical provider in Ukraine, seek assistance from them in the first instance

  • if you do not have insurance or your symptoms are more severe, call an ambulance on 103. Please note that the ambulance service may not have English-speaking operators available. In this case, please enlist the help of a Ukrainian or Russian-speaking friend, family member, hotel worker etc to help you call the ambulance

In both cases, you are likely to be advised to self-isolate, or be taken to a hospital where you will be tested for coronavirus. In case of a positive diagnosis, please inform the British Embassy Kyiv by calling +380 44 490 3660 or by completing this web contact form, or ask a friend or relative to contact us on your behalf.

If taken to hospital, you are likely to be tested for coronavirus. The choice of hospital will depend on your location and the availability of hospitals and/or beds.

If you come into contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19, or has COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days. Contact your insurer or private medical provider, or call an ambulance on 103, should you develop symptoms yourself. Failure to comply with these restrictions may result in a fine or, in more serious cases, a prison sentence.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Ukraine.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Ukraine

We will update this page when the Government of Ukraine announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

Ukraine’s national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca, Coronavac, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The Government of Ukraine has stated that British nationals resident in Ukraine are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on the Government of Ukraine’s dedicated vaccination website.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Ukraine, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

For further information on visiting Ukraine during the quarantine period, please see the Visit Ukraine webpage.

Political situation

Public demonstrations do regularly take place. You should avoid all demonstrations and take extra care at public gatherings. Policing of these events may include road closures. The situation in Kyiv and other areas outside Donetsk and Luhansk is generally calm. In Kyiv, the areas around Maydan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) and government buildings such as the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building) and the National Bank of Ukraine are most frequently affected.

Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks. You should avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, as even peaceful protests may turn violent.

Local travel

Bus, trolleybus and tram tickets normally need to be validated by being ‘punched’ when you board. You can be fined on the spot if you are travelling with a ticket that has not been validated.

There is a wide network of minibuses. The fare is normally displayed on the window inside the minibus. You may need to pass your money to the driver via other passengers.

Use official taxis which display the name and telephone number of the taxi company. Where possible ask your hotel to get a taxi for you or ask for the telephone number of a reputable taxi company. You should agree the fare before getting into the taxi.

Kyiv

There is no metro connection to Kyiv city centre from Boryspil International Airport. The most convenient way to reach the city centre is by taxi. You should only use registered taxi companies. Alternatively you can take the express train or ‘Sky Bus’ from the airport to the main railway station (terminal “Pivdenny”). You can buy a ticket for the ‘Sky Bus’ from the driver. More information on transport services can be found on the airport website.

Chernobyl

A number of local companies offer tours to Chernobyl. Some areas around the reactor are covered by an exclusion zone, and you may need to get a permit and travel with a guide. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although some of the radioactive isotopes released into the atmosphere still linger, they are at tolerable exposure levels for limited periods of time. The State Agency for Managing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has issued safety instructions and advice for people visiting the zone.

Eastern Ukraine

The FCDO advise against all travel to Donetsk oblast and Luhansk oblast.

Since 30 March, there has been a substantial Russian military build-up near Ukraine’s eastern border and in illegally annexed Crimea. You should monitor travel advice regularly.

The security situation in the south-eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine is highly unstable, with ongoing clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists. The UN calculates this has resulted in around 13,000 deaths and approximately 1.5 million internally displaced people residing permanently in government-controlled areas of Ukraine. Civilians continue to get caught up in the fighting.

If you travel to eastern Ukraine to fight, or to assist others engaged in the conflict, your activities may amount to offences against UK terrorism or other legislation and you could be prosecuted on your return to the UK.

The FCDO isn’t able to provide consular services to anyone in the parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts not currently under control of the Ukrainian authorities.

The Safety and security guidance for the south-eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine was reviewed on 31 March and remains valid.

Crimea

The FCDO advise against all travel to Crimea. The FCDO is not able to provide consular services to anyone in Crimea.

Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. Following an illegal referendum on 16 March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 March 2014 and tensions remain high.

Ukrainian International Airlines have cancelled all flights to and from Simferopol.

All train and official bus services to Crimea have been cancelled. To enter or exit Crimea, foreign nationals will need to provide their passport and a special permit issued by the territorial body of the State Migration Service of Ukraine.

The UK has imposed restrictions on economic relations with Crimea following its illegal annexation by Russia. These restrictions apply to all UK people and companies and include an import ban, a full ban on investment and a prohibition on supplying tourism services in Crimea. Exports of further key goods for certain sectors are also banned.

The Crimean sea ports of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria have been designated by the Ukrainian authorities as closed to international shipping.

Crime

Most visitors to Ukraine experience no difficulties. Serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare, but incidents do occur. In some cases attacks have been racially motivated. Travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and individuals belonging to religious minorities should take extra care.

You should report any incidents to the police by dialling 102. A list of local translators is available on the British Embassy website.

Be alert to the possibility of street crime and petty theft, which is on the increase in Kyiv. Foreigners may appear to be lucrative targets. Where possible, avoid walking alone late at night in dark or poorly lit streets. Keep valuables and cash safe and out of sight, especially in crowded areas, tourist spots, and public transport, where pickpockets and bag snatchers operate.

A common scam is to drop a wallet or bundle of money in front of a tourist. The criminal then “finds” the money and asks if it is the tourist’s or offers to share the money with them. If you are approached in this way, you should walk away without engaging in conversation.

Don’t lose sight of your credit cards during transactions.

Some British nationals have reported being charged inflated prices in bills from bars, cafes and restaurants. If you have any concerns, take care to confirm the price before ordering and check the bill and receipt against the price of ordered items from the menu.

Theft of and from vehicles is common. Don’t leave documents or money in your vehicle. Unregulated taxi drivers can overcharge. Use official taxis, which have the name and telephone number of the taxi company on the side of the door and on the top of the taxi.

Do not leave drinks or food unattended as they could be spiked. Beware of accepting drinks from casual acquaintances.

Exercise caution when travelling to Ukraine for a relationship initiated via the internet. There have been incidents of marriage fraud and attempted extortion affecting foreign nationals. You should be particularly vigilant if the person is uncontactable face-to-face or they ask you to send money urgently (for example, they may say that they’ve been arrested or have fallen ill). Unfortunately it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to recover your money if you’re a victim of such a scam.

Road travel

Licences and documents

You must have a valid International Driving Permit to drive legally in Ukraine, as well as your UK driving licence. You will need to have the 1968 permit to drive in Ukraine. 1949 permits previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted in Ukraine. You can only get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

A green card is proof that you have vehicle insurance when driving abroad. You need to carry a green card to drive in Ukraine.

Make sure you have original vehicle-registration papers, ownership documents and insurance papers available at all times. These will be required if you are stopped by the police and when crossing borders. This also applies to rental vehicles. If you do not have these papers when stopped by the police they have the right to impound your vehicle and charge you for this.

For information regarding bringing your car to Ukraine, see Entry requirements

Car hire

If you intend to rent a vehicle for your travel to Ukraine, you should check with the car hire company and insurance company their policy on renting cars in Ukraine and any other country you will pass through, especially non-EU countries. Ensure they provide you with a rental agreement permitting you to cross the border into Ukraine.

Driving standards

Local driving standards are poor. Street lights are weak, speed limits, traffic lights and road signs are often ignored, and drivers frequently do not indicate before manoeuvring. There are a high number of traffic accidents, including fatalities. Speeding, drink driving and infrequent use of helmets, seat belts and child restraints in vehicles are the main contributing factors.

In case of a road accident dial 102. Local officials generally only speak Ukrainian and Russian.

Roads are of variable quality. Driving outside major towns at night can be hazardous. Avoid night-time travel wherever possible.

Driving regulations

You must wear a seat belt. Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited. There is a zero limit on drinking alcohol and driving.

Ukrainian law allows the police to stop a vehicle. The police officer should give their name and rank, explain why you have been stopped and make an administrative offence report. The police may film interactions with members of the public. Fines can be levied for minor offences such as illegal parking or jumping a red light. The police may be carrying a credit card terminal to collect payment on the spot, or fines may be paid online or at a bank within 15 days. See payment options (in Ukrainian).

See the AA and RAC guides to driving in Ukraine.

Rail travel

If you travel by train, make sure your belongings are secure.

Don’t agree to look after the luggage of a fellow traveller or allow it to be stored in your compartment

Train timetables and ticket reservation is available online on the Ukrainian Railways site.

Air travel

You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes lists of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices – IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Standard Safety Assessment. These lists aren’t exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Ukraine.

Direct flights between Ukraine and Russia ceased on 25 October 2015 and on 25 November 2015 Ukraine banned all Russian airlines from transiting its airspace. Check latest developments with your airline or travel company before you travel.

Terrorist attacks in Ukraine can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter-Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

The Ukrainian authorities have announced that they have disrupted a number of planned attacks, including in Kyiv. Attacks have mainly been aimed at official Ukrainian targets, but could happen anywhere and could affect western interests and places visited by foreigners. Small-scale targeted bombings have occurred in Ukraine, including in Kyiv. Attacks are generally linked to criminal activity with the intent to damage property or vehicles, some attacks have resulted in casualties.

British nationals haven’t been specifically targeted. You should remain vigilant and avoid large gatherings and demonstrations.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Penalties for being caught in possession of drugs are severe.

Smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks in public places is officially banned. Public places include transport, bus stops, underground crossings, cultural, sports and governmental establishments, playgrounds and parks.

Carry your passport at all times for ID purposes. Police may carry out passport checks on foreign nationals, particularly in the central area of Kyiv. Police officers should introduce themselves (name, post, rank, reason for ID check) and present a document verifying their position. Your original passport is required since no other document can provide information on your legal status in Ukraine. If you’re detained because you have been unable to present your passport, you should ask for an official report.

Ukrainian officials generally only speak Ukrainian and Russian.

Don’t take photographs near government or military establishments.

Although homosexuality is not prohibited by law, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention. There’s no provision under Ukrainian legislation guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Many LGBT Pride events (including Kyiv Pride 2019) in Ukraine pass off without incident, though in Kyiv and elsewhere extreme right-wing, traditionalist, and nationalist activists continue to seek to disrupt Pride events. You should remain alert if joining Pride events and follow police instructions in case of any incidents. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

If you’re visiting Ukraine for the purpose of commissioning surrogacy arrangements you should consider the potential risks and challenges involved in pursuing international surrogacy and seek specialist legal advice on Ukrainian and UK laws prior to making any arrangements. You should research prospective clinics dealing with surrogacy in detail to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable organisation. If you engage an egg donor as well as a surrogate mother, note that Ukrainian law does not permit the same woman to fulfil both roles.

The British Embassy can’t help with enquiries about surrogacy arrangements, clinics, legal and immigration issues or British passports. The FCDO and Home Office have produced guidance to help inform you of the issues you may face when embarking on a surrogacy arrangement.

Commissioning a surrogacy won’t automatically mean that the child holds British citizenship. If you wish to bring your child born via surrogacy from Ukraine to the UK you must apply for a full British passport, for which a Ukrainian birth certificate will be needed. More information on local birth registration can be found at the Department for State Registration and Notary Services website. The maximum period of visa-free stay allowed by the Ukrainian authorities is 90 days within a 180-day period. Extensions of stay are unlikely to be granted.

Corruption remains a major problem. If you think you have been mistreated by an official then you should report your case to the relevant government department:

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Ukraine set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Pre-arrival requirements

Upon arrival, all non-exempt foreign nationals are required to provide proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 observation and treatment for the duration of their stay. Insurance must be purchased from a company registered in Ukraine or a foreign company that has a representative office or an insurance partner in Ukraine.

All non-exempt foreign nationals, in addition to their health insurance policy, must have:

  • a document confirming receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination with WHO-approved vaccines – which Ukraine lists as Pfizer, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, Covishield and SKBio), Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm and CoronaVac, or one of:

    • a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or;
    • a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entry.

The requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative test does not apply to children under 12. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’)

Non-exempt foreign nationals without proof of vaccination (ie one or both doses) will be required to install the “Vdoma” app on arrival. The State Border Service will refuse entry to anyone who is unable, or refuses to install the “Vdoma” app. See the official Visit Ukraine site and click “more details” for further information.

Unvaccinated travellers (with certain exceptions listed on Visit Ukraine) who travel from Russia or India (including for transit through Ukraine) and have spent 7 or more days of the previous 14 days in those countries, will have to self-isolate for 14 days and will not be able to take a test in Ukraine to avoid or reduce self-isolation.

Self-isolation for stays of less than 72 hours

You do not need to self-isolate if you leave the country within 72 hours (except if travelling from India or Russia as above).

Self-isolation for stays of more than 72 hours

During the first 72 hours after arrival (unless travelling from India or Russia), you can take a PCR or Rapid Antigen test. If you test negative for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate. If you do not take a test in those 72 hours, you must begin self-isolating at the address you register on the Vdoma app, for 10 days. You can end self-isolation early if you receive a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen test result.

Exemptions for foreign nationals

According to the resolution 1236 (9 December 2020) of the Ukrainian Government (Cabinet of Ministers), as updated on 28 July 2021 by resolution 787, certain categories of foreign nationals are exempt from the insurance, PCR/RAT/express testing or vaccination requirements, and do not have to install the “Vdoma” app.

These categories include foreign nationals who are:

  • recognised as refugees;
  • accredited diplomats in Ukraine, or members of accredited diplomats’ families;
  • air, sea, and land transport crews, or;
  • military personnel from NATO or “Partnership for Peace” countries taking part in exercises with the Ukrainian military.

The full list of exemptions is available on Visit Ukraine (click “more details” and scroll to the bottom).

Foreign nationals who are permanent residents of Ukraine are exempt from the insurance and PCR/RAT testing requirement, though they must provide a document confirming receipt of one or more doses of a recognised COVID-19 vaccine or install the Vdoma mobile app and self-isolate for 10 days. Self-isolation is no longer required if you undergo PCR testing or a rapid antigen test within 72 hours of entry and get a negative result; except for permanent residents of Ukraine on arrival from India or Russia, who are subject to self-isolation for 14 days without the possibility of early termination.

The final decision on a person’s eligibility to enter Ukraine rests with the Ukrainian State Border Service. The entry requirement policies of foreign governments are imposed and enforced at their discretion.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Ukraine will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Transiting Ukraine

Foreign nationals transiting Ukraine are required to provide proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 observation and treatment for the duration of their stay. Insurance must be purchased from a company registered in Ukraine or a foreign company that has a representative office or an insurance partner in Ukraine.

Quarantine requirements

Foreign nationals and Ukrainian citizens with a valid certificate of vaccination that meets Ukrainian requirements will not have to self-isolate on arrival in Ukraine. Those without proof of vaccination will have to self-isolate at an address registered on the “Vdoma” app (until they have fulfilled the post-arrival requirement for a negative PCR/RAT test, see Entry and Borders section above). More information about “Vdoma” is available on the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers’ website.

Travellers arriving in Ukraine or crossing the administrative points from non-government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea will be subject to health monitoring on arrival. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities.

Further information about visiting Ukraine during the quarantine period can be found at the Ukrainian authorities’ Visit Ukraine webpage.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British Citizen passport holders can enter Ukraine without a visa for visits of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Ukraine has confirmed that this policy will continue to apply to British citizens until 30 January 2022.

Although there are no penalties for British citizens overstaying under the visa-free regime during quarantine (providing they leave within 30 days of quarantine ending), anyone who has overstayed will not be able to return to Ukraine for 90 days after leaving the country.

If you’re planning to stay in Ukraine for longer than 90 days in a 180 day period, you need to get a visa. For more advice on entry requirements contact the Ukrainian Embassy in London or Consulate General in Edinburgh.

You don’t need to complete an immigration card. Immigration officials may require you to scan your fingerprints as part of biometric data collection at border crossing points. For more details, visit the website of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

Proof of financial means

You may be asked to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support you during your stay. The Ukrainian authorities accept the following as a proof of sufficient funds: cash, bank cards along with bank statements, accommodation bookings, tourist vouchers, a letter from the person or company you’re visiting stating that they will cover your expenses, a return ticket or onward travel ticket. You can find more information on the websites of the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK and State Border Service of Ukraine.

Passport validity

If you’re travelling without a visa, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

If you’re applying for a visa, your passport may need to have an additional period of validity. Check with the Ukrainian Embassy in London for further details.

Borders

It’s illegal under Ukrainian law to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. If you do so, you risk arrest or a fine, and you may be subject to a travel ban.

International border crossings that aren’t currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include all land border crossings into Donetsk oblast, many of the land border crossings into Luhansk oblast, all air and sea ports in Crimea and the Kerch Bridge road and rail crossing into Crimea.

If you intend to visit any of the areas not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, you should apply to the State Migration Service of Ukraine for a special entry permit. Information on border crossing procedure, entry/exit regulations and checkpoints are provided at the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine website.

Travelling between Ukraine and Belarus

On 2 July, the Belarusian authorities announced the imminent closure of the land border between Ukraine and Belarus. British nationals should check with the Belarusian State Border Committee, or call their 24- hour hotline (+375 17 365 26 12), for the latest information on the situation at the land crossings, before planning any overland travel. Air travel is currently also not permitted. If you have any existing train, flight or tour tickets, you should contact the travel operator seeking advice.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Ukraine.

Customs regulations

You can find general information about importing and exporting items on the website of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (in Ukrainian).

There are strict customs regulations governing the export from Ukraine of antiques and items of historical interest. If in doubt seek prior permission from the customs authorities: telephone: (+38 044) 454 16 13, e-mail: idd@sfs.gov.ua

Bringing your car to Ukraine

For information about driving rules in Ukraine, see Road travel

Non-residents are allowed to bring a vehicle for personal use into Ukraine for up to one year. There’s no need to complete a customs declaration form. The vehicle can only be used in Ukraine by the person that brought it into the country. The vehicle can’t be used for commercial purposes, dismantled, sold or rented to other people. If you want to do any of these things, you’ll need register the vehicle in Ukraine and pay the appropriate customs tax.

You must take the vehicle out of Ukraine within the required timeframe, or place it into the customs regime of the State.

If your vehicle breaks down and can’t be fixed, you should inform the Customs Service and provide them with evidence that it can’t be repaired. You may then dispose of the vehicle through the official channels of the Customs Service.

If you bring a private vehicle in Ukraine with the intention of transiting the country, you may be asked to complete a customs declaration form and pay a deposit.

You can find more information on bringing your car to Ukraine on the State Fiscal Service’s website (in Ukrainian).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ukraine on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Ukraine.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Medical treatment

There is no reciprocal health care agreement between the UK and Ukraine. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

State medical facilities in Ukraine are generally poor. Private clinics and hospitals offer a better standard of care, though these do not always meet western standards and practices. If you are involved in an accident or taken ill, it is likely that you will be taken to a state hospital unless you can show that you have comprehensive medical insurance cover.

English isn’t widely spoken and British patients may face communication difficulties.

Pharmacies are plentiful in towns and cities, though pharmacies in smaller towns may not have the same variety of medications available in the bigger cities. They are usually easily identifiable by the presence of a green cross and/or the word “apteka” (аптека). Many drugs that would require a prescription in the UK are available over-the-counter in Ukraine (including, for example asthma inhalers and some antibiotics), but some stronger medications will still require a prescription from a doctor, written in Ukrainian.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 103 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

ATMs are available and credit cards are widely used in cities. Cloning of credit and debit cards is common. You should be vigilant when using ATMs and not let your card out of your sight during transactions. Outside cities you should make sure you have sufficient cash in local currency.

The official currency of Ukraine is the Hryvnia (UAH). US dollars and Euros are the easiest currency to exchange in Ukraine. Sterling may also be exchanged at a more limited number of sites. Scottish and Northern Irish notes aren’t accepted. You should only use official exchange booths and make sure you’re given a receipt.

You’ll need to present your passport if you wish to exchange currency worth 150,000 UAH or over. Keep the receipt as you may need to produce it if you exchange money back on departure.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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