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Ukraine closes checkpoints at Crimean border to control coronavirus


KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's government said on Saturday it had temporarily closed its border with Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

All three crossing points between the mainland and Crimea, which is defined by Ukraine as an occupied territory, will be closed from Aug. 9 to Aug. 30, a government statement said.

Only Crimean residents with Ukrainian citizenship will be allowed to enter Crimea.

Ukrainians who permanently live on the mainland will be able to return home during the three week closure.

Ukraine has registered a steady daily increase in new coronavirus infections since the end of July. The number of confirmed cases rose by 1,489 in the last 24 hours.

The total number of cases is at 79,750, including 1,879 deaths.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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