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Ukraine

If you’re travelling to Ukraine, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security Status

Do not Travel

Latest Travel Alert

The Department of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine together with our EU and other international partners.

The Department strongly advises against all travel to Ukraine, for any purpose. Irish citizens in Ukraine should leave if safe to do so. If you believe you cannot leave safely, you should shelter in a secure place and monitor developments closely. Keep your situation and departure plans under constant review and ensure your travel documents are up to date. Bear in mind that communication lines (phone, internet) may be disrupted.

Further, the Department strongly advises against commissioning surrogacy arrangements in Ukraine. The situation remains extremely dangerous across all of Ukraine, including in Kyiv and western regions, with missile attacks continuing countrywide. Numerous civilian targets have been and continue to be hit by missile attacks, including schools, apartment blocks, and maternity hospitals. The capacity of the Department to provide consular assistance to citizens in Ukraine is extremely limited.

In October 2022, damage to critical infrastructure from widespread missile strikes in Ukraine resulted in water and electricity shortages in multiple parts of the country. Severe electricity shortages and blackouts have been reported in the city and region of Lviv. Kyiv city authorities have asked the public to limit use of electricity between 5pm and 10pm. You should be aware that electricity and/or water shortages are possible at short notice anywhere in the country.

Irish citizens in Ukraine who have not already done so should register their details and those of any dependants here. Any citizen requiring emergency consular assistance in Ukraine can call the Department on +353 1 408 2000.

Ukraine’s airspace is closed. Most over-land routes out of Ukraine are disrupted, and long delays at border crossings remain a risk. Some routes may face closure at short notice.

Check our travel advice on www.dfa.ie/travel for any neighbouring country that you are planning to travel to or through. Useful links are below:

Martial law has been declared in Ukraine. Citizens should closely monitor the advice of local authorities and reputable media sources.

The Department advises all Irish citizens to follow all regulations, including curfews in force in Kyiv or elsewhere in Ukraine. Breaking curfew and moving around the city when there is active conflict ongoing or potential for this to occur without any warning is extremely dangerous.  The authorities have stated clearly that those venturing outside will be regarded as members of sabotage groups. 

The International Organization for Migration has set up information and support hotlines for persons seeking to leave Ukraine. Anyone in Ukraine can call 527 (free from mobile phones), 0800505501 (free from landline phones) and information on calling from neighbouring countries is available here.

To date, a significant number of people from Ukraine arriving in Ireland under the Temporary Protection Directive are seeking State-provided accommodation.  The State is now providing accommodation for 58,000 people seeking international protection, the majority Ukrainians, compared to 7,500 this time last year. This very large increase has resulted in a severe shortage of accommodation.  Projections in terms of accommodation availability remain extremely challenging.  Those thinking about travelling to Ireland are advised to be fully aware of these difficult circumstances in which not every person arriving in Ireland looking for State-provided accommodation may be able to secure that accommodation upon initial arrival in Ireland. 

For further information please visit: gov.ie - Accommodation (www.gov.ie)

Visas for Ireland 

Visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland have been lifted. This applies as an emergency measure to all Ukrainians travelling to Ireland. More information from the Department of Justice including frequently asked questions is available here: FAQs – for Ukraine Nationals and Residents of Ukraine - Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)

COVID-19 Public Health Measures

The Government of Ukraine is implementing a four-level “adaptive quarantine” plan on a regional basis.

If you are in Ukraine, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.

See links below for details.

Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ukraine’s Ministry of Health Coronavirus Webpage

Ukraine’s Public Health Centre

Crimea

The Department of Foreign Affairs is unable to provide consular assistance to Irish citizens in Crimea. We strongly advise against all travel to Crimea. Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea.

You can contact the emergency services in Ukraine on the following numbers:

•Police (Militsia): 102

•Fire brigade: 101

•Ambulance/municipal first aid: 103

•Natural gas and fire emergency service: 104

Safety and Security

Safety and security

In light of developments, the Department of Foreign Affairs advises all Irish citizens currently in Ukraine to shelter in a secure place.

However, citizens should consider leaving Ukraine if they judge it safe to do so, depending on their location and prevailing circumstances.

Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk)

We advise strongly against all travel to Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts at this time.

Crimea

We advise strongly against all travel to Crimea at this time.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Personal identification

Always carry your passport as the police often carry out passport checks on foreign nationals. Only original passports are accepted by the police in these circumstances because they are usually trying to establish your status in Ukraine. If you are detained, you should request an official police report.

Police officers must introduce themselves by name, post, rank and tell you the reason they are checking you (ID check). They must also show you a document verifying their identity.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for drug offences are severe. The sale and distribution of drugs on the street is illegal and these drugs are often hazardous counterfeits. 

Public order offences

Smoking and drinking alcohol in public places such as public transport, bus stops, underground crossings, playgrounds, parks, cultural and sports venues and government establishments, are officially prohibited.

Photography

You are not allowed to take photographs near government or military establishments.

Cultural artefacts

There are strict rules governing the export of antiques and items of historical interest. If in doubt, get permission from customs authorities before you attempt to export any item from the country. Failure to comply with local rules may result in fines, confiscation of property or delays in travel.

 

Health

Health

Vaccinations

Check your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travel to see what vaccinations you may need for Ukraine.

A small number of cases of polio have recently been diagnosed in Ukraine. Polio vaccination is recommended for all travellers from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is a risk. Before travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are still occurring, travellers should ensure that they have completed the recommended age-appropriate polio vaccine schedule and have received a booster dose, if necessary. More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website.

Sexually transmitted disease

There is a high level of sexually transmitted diseases in Ukraine and HIV is reportedly widespread. You should exercise necessary caution if engaging in activities that expose you to possible infection. If you suspect that you have been exposed to possible infection, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Radioactive contamination

The risk of radioactive contamination from the 1986 accident at Chernobyl is insignificant, other than within the exclusion zone immediately around the Chernobyl site and you don’t need to take any special precautions.

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Water

We advise you to boil tap water before drinking it. Bottled water is readily available.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure about the entry requirements for Ukraine, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy of Ukraine.

Following the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Russian officials exercising de facto control of the territory are requiring Irish citizens seeking to enter Crimea to have a Russian Federation visa obtained from the nearest Russian Embassy. Those who do not comply with these “visa requirements”, including the expiry date indicated, can be subject to arrest, fines, and/or deportation by those exercising de facto control. It should be noted that the ability of the Embassy to intervene in such cases is extremely limited.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Ukraine and you should carry your passport at all times during your stay.

Money

The official currency of Ukraine is the Hryvnia (UAH). Euros and US dollars are the easiest currency to exchange in Ukraine, but only use banks and official exchange booths. Depending on the amount to be exchanged, you may need a passport and/or other ID. When you’re exchanging currency, you should get an official receipt, known as an NBU form № 377. Hold on to this receipt because you may need it to exchange Hryvnia to other currencies when you leave the country.

ATMs are available in Ukraine and credit cards are widely used but not universally accepted in cities. Beyond larger urban centres, we advise you to carry enough local currency to meet your needs.

Take particular care when exchanging money to safeguard your passport and credit/ATM cards and don’t lose sight of them during transactions.

Transport

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Crime on public transport

Be careful on public transport as it is popular with pickpockets and bag snatchers. Take particular care on any overnight trains. We recommend, if possible, travelling with someone else and in a compartment that can be secured from the inside.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Any citizen requiring emergency consular assistance in Ukraine can call the Department of Foreign Affairs on +353 1 408 2000.