Several European, Central Asian countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct health screenings as of March 4 due to COVID-19.
Severity: Informational Alert
The locations affected by this alert are:
- London, England
- Birmingham, England
- Manchester, England
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Leeds, England
- Cardiff, Wales
- Inverness, Scotland
This alert began 04 Mar 2020 23:06 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Travel restrictions and health screenings
- Location(s): Europe and Central Asia (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite as of March 4
- Impact: Flight and border crossing disruptions; longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures
Governments in Europe and Central Asia have further intensified travel and other restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Although specific measures vary by country, the following procedures were in effect as of March 4:
- Armenia: Authorities have suspended visa-free travel for Chinese nationals. All land borders with Iran have been closed indefinitely from Feb. 24. Enhanced health screenings are underway at all points of entry.
- Azerbaijan: All flights between Baku and Tehran have been suspended, and flights to mainland China could face disruptions. Enhanced health screening is in operation at ports of entry. Authorities have suspended visa-free travels for Chinese nationals. All land borders with Iran have been closed for two weeks from Feb. 29.
- France: Indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people have been banned, with similar decisions on outdoor events being made on a case-by-case basis. Schools have been closed in some areas of Brittany, Hauts de France, and Hauts Savoie.
- Georgia: Authorities have suspended travel to Iran and Italy. Land borders are closed to Iranian goods and vehicles. Enhanced health screening is in operation at ports of entry. Flights to and from China remain suspended until at least March 29. Foreign travelers who have been in Iran in the past 14 days or China in the past 21 days will be denied entry. Authorities may quarantine Georgian residents arriving from these countries for at least 14 days.
- Italy: Authorities are considering closing all schools and universities until at least mid-March. All flights to and from China and Iran remain suspended indefinitely. Local movement restrictions in northern Italy are detailed in our separate alert.
- Kazakhstan: Public events to mark International Women's Day on March 8 have been canceled; further cancellations of mass gatherings are likely. Authorities have suspended entry for residents of Iran. Nearly 90 percent of flights connecting with Azerbaijan will be canceled from March 5. All flights to and from China suspended indefinitely as of Feb. 3. All land borders with China remain closed to travelers. A suspension of flights with Iran entered into effect March 1; a ban on entry by Iranian nationals will take effect March 5.
- Kyrgyzstan: Authorities temporarily banned entry of foreign nationals from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea from March 1. Travelers arriving from Afghanistan will be placed in quarantine for 14 days.
- Russia: The Ministry of Transport has suspended the rail route connecting Moscow to Nice, France, via Italy; further reduced rail services to Western Europe are possible. All land borders with China and Mongolia remain closed until at least April 1. Flights to and from China and Iran have been suspended indefinitely. Indefinite suspension of flights with South Korea entered into effect March 1, with the exception of Aeroflot (SU) and Korean Air (KE) flights between Moscow and Seoul, which will continue to operate. Non-Russian residents of China, Hong Kong, and Iran are not currently allowed entry into Russia.
- Switzerland: Flights to and from mainland China remain suspended until March 28, and reduced flights are operating to and from Italy; in particular, flights connecting with northern Italy are suspended. Authorities have banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 participants, including demonstrations, public events, and major sporting events, until at least March 15. Some cities, including Bern, have banned smaller public gatherings.
- Tajikistan: Entry is currently prohibited to citizens of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Flights to and from China and Iran have been suspended indefinitely. Authorities have also indefinitely closed the Kulma Pass border crossing with China.
- Turkmenistan: Authorities have closed the land borders with Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan. The Kazakhstan border could be closed at short notice. Authorities have indefinitely suspended all flights to and from China.
- UK: Authorities request that all travelers who have visited Hubei Province, China, in the last 14 days, as well as travelers who have returned from Iran, locked-down areas of northern Italy, or special care zones in South Korea since Feb. 19, remain indoors and minimize contact with other people. Travelers who have returned from elsewhere in China and South Korea, as well as from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, in the last 14 days and have possible COVID-19 symptoms, should also self-isolate immediately. This guidance also applies to travelers with possible symptoms who have returned from elsewhere in northern Italy, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam since Feb. 19.
- Uzbekistan: Authorities have indefinitely suspended flights from Afghanistan, Iran, and Italy, and closed the country's borders with Afghanistan.
Countries could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from mainland China and other countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, or Thailand. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.