Ukraine to limit number of people allowed to visit Uman for Rosh Hashanah

Ukraine Interior Min. Avakov says mass events cannot be held during pandemic, country will limit number of Jews allowed in for holiday.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Ukraine has officially announced that it will significantly limit the number of people allowed into Uman ahead of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).

In a notice published by the country's Interior Ministry following consultations with the relevant parties, it was decided that the number of foreigners allowed into Uman would be limited and in extreme cases, would be completely forbidden.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said: "Every year, believers come to Uman - and we're talking about between 30-50,000 people - who pray and celebrate in the city for three days. This framework, in the current year when we are dealing with the coronavirus plague, creates great dangers, especially with regards to spreading the virus, not just among those who participate in the events but also among local residents."

"We very much respect the traditions of different nations and communities, and each year we invest enormous effort into ensuring the welfare and safety of the Jewish worshipers in Uman. In the last few weeks, there has been a significant rise in coronavirus infections among the Ukrainian population, as well as in other countries. We have reached the conclusion that the epidemiological situation in the country and in the entire world does not allow mass events to be held as they are every year, especially when it comes to foreigners who come from outside the country, when we have no control over their situation.

"We have reached a similar agreement with the Christian communities, who canceled mass events which were planned, and I hope that the Jewish hasidic community will also be understanding. We will enforce the restrictions applied in Uman by any means necessary."

At the same time, Uman's mayor announced that he would do everything possible to prevent large groups from coming to his city. He warned that if a government decision is not made regarding the number of foreigners allowed to enter the country, he himself would enforce it and place checkpoints at the city's entrances to prevent people from entering the city.