Business welcomes the first step in resuming economic activity in the country
This week, at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, a decision was made to ease lockdown restrictions from May 11. Parks, squares, recreation areas will be open for visits, while beauty salons, hairdressers, and some food establishments are allowed to operate under conditions developed and presented by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
Business welcomes the decision to gradually launch economic activity while maintaining certain restrictions to minimize the spread of the virus. The first step has already been taken. So, we hope that business activity will revive at a faster pace with each further step announced by the authorities. At the same time, predictability is important for business, so it would be good to know the detailed plans for the next stages of the lockdown weakening, as it was with the current first stage.
The rules for businesses, allowed to work from May 11, are outlined in the respective Order of the Chief Sanitary Doctor – “On the public discussion of some requirements for anti-epidemic measures during the weakening of lockdown.” Thus, the European Business Association has analyzed this document and suggests considering the following three proposals from the business. They were also sent to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine as a matter of course.
First, regarding the trade of non-food products, it is stated that businesses should provide facilities for washing hands with soap and create conditions for disinfecting hands with antiseptic. At the same time, not all rental commercial premises have a separate bathroom equipped with a washbasin. Usually, several rental commercial premises share one bathroom which is located separately from the rented premises. Accordingly, the question arises concerning the control on the compliance with this requirement. Also, it should be clarified in this rule, that the requirements concern the premises with bathrooms.
Secondly, it is recommended that hand antiseptics should have a concentration of alcohol more than 60% for isopropyl alcohols and more than 70% for ethyl alcohol. At the same time, in international practice, both ethyl and isopropyl alcohol are used with a concentration ranging from 60% to 80% by volume. In addition, even the current Orders of the Ministry of Health on the hand disinfection for medical staff do not require such high levels of alcohol. Therefore, the business proposes to consider international practice in this recommendation.
Thirdly, regarding the food establishments, it is recommended to accommodate a maximum of two clients at one table with the observance of distance and individual protection. At the same time, it is not clear how to rule the situation when families visit food establishments. Also, some questions arise regarding the requirement to order meals remotely to eat on the summer terrace – it is not clear why the order should be done remotely. At the same time, it is recommended to serve orders exclusively in disposable containers which would cause more contamination to the environment. Therefore, the business believes that it would be more appropriate to specify additional requirements for the disinfection of dishes while using disposable ones solely for takeaway orders.
Finally, the rule, which allows the work of ” open-sky” establishments, needs technical clarification. Thus, according to the practice, the wording ” open-air” establishments is the correct one.
The European Business Association thanks the Government for the step to resuming economic activity in the country. At the same time, we urge to pay attention to these proposals in order to avoid collisions in the interpretation of the law on the operation of businesses during the 1st stage of the weakening of lockdown .