Cabinet supports decision to restrict foreigners visiting Uman during Rosh Hashanah – Avakov
The government has supported the decision initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to restrict foreigners from visiting Uman (Cherkasy region) during the Rosh Hashanah celebration in 2020, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.
"We respect the national traditions of various peoples and religious communities and every year we do everything to ensure that they meet the highest safety standards. However, in recent weeks Ukraine has recorded an increase in outbreaks of coronavirus [COVID-19] among the population. A similar situation is observed in other countries, which is forcing the governments of these countries to return to a tighter lockdown. We heard the reports of the relevant ministers in the government and came to the conclusion that the epidemiological situation in the country and the world does not allow organizing and holding mass events, especially with the participation of foreigners," the press service of the Interior Ministry said on Monday, citing Avakov.
Thus, the minister said that from 30,000 to 50,000 Hasidim from different countries come to Uman every year, who celebrate and conduct various religious rituals, visit holy places for three days. This format of a mass event during a pandemic creates huge risks of the spread of the virus.
In addition, according to Avakov, the Interior Ministry reached a similar agreement with representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, who refused to hold the procession due to the pandemic.
Earlier, Mayor of Uman, Oleksandr Tsebriy, threatened to block the entry for the Hasidim during the Rosh Hasidim period due to the situation with the COVID-19 and said that he would go to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss this issue.
As reported, the participants of the interdepartmental meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine came to the joint opinion that the arrival of tens of thousands of Hasidic pilgrims in the city of Uman, Cherkasy region to celebrate the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah in the traditional format in 2020 is impossible due to the epidemiological situation in Israel, the prohibition of holding mass events in Ukraine, the need to create a large number of observation sites and the complexity of law enforcement control over the pilgrims' self-isolation regime.
Later, the Ministry of Health of Israel called on Kyiv not to allow the Hasidim pilgrimage to the city of Uman, Cherkasy region, on the Rosh Hashanah holiday in 2020.
In 2019, more than 30,000 pilgrims arrived in Uman to celebrate the 5780th Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), which is celebrated from the evening of September 29 to the evening of October 1.