Central Asian countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct screenings as of March 11 to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

This alert began 11 Mar 2020 17:54 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Central Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Entry restrictions, flight disruptions, longer immigration wait times; possible commercial disruptions

Summary
Governments in Central Asia continue to implement travel and other restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Specific measures vary by country. The following measures were in effect as of March 11:

  • Kazakhstan: Authorities will suspend entry for travelers from Germany, Spain, and France from 0001 March 12. Entry for travelers from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea remains indefinitely suspended. Travelers arriving from the Netherlands, Switzerland, or the UK must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Public events to mark International Women's Day on March 8 were canceled; further cancellations of mass gatherings are likely.
  • Kyrgyzstan: The government has announced that foreign nationals arriving from countries with a significant rise in COVID-19 cases will be barred from the country. At present, the entry of foreigners from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea remains indefinitely suspended, though additional countries could also face restrictions. Travelers arriving from Afghanistan will be placed in quarantine for 14 days. Authorities have banned large public events.
  • Tajikistan: Authorities have canceled an earlier directive preventing airlines from selling flight tickets to and from Dushanbe to citizens of 35 countries, though restrictions could be reintroduced at short notice. Entry suspended for citizens of Afghanistan, China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea; travelers arriving from these countries will be quarantined for 14 days. Flights to and from Afghanistan, China, and Iran have been suspended. Authorities have also indefinitely closed the Kulma Pass border crossing with China. Authorities have ordered the temporary closure of all mosques, canceled some sporting events, and canceled public Persian New Year (Nowruz) celebrations scheduled March 20-24.
  • Turkmenistan: As of March 11, all inbound international flights are being redirected to Turkmenabad International Airport (CRZ) for health screenings before completing the 480-km (300-mile) journey to Ashgabat. Turkmen Airlines has also reduced flights to India, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey up to April 30. Authorities have closed land borders with Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan; travelers from all other locations will undergo medical screening and those infected with COVID-19 will be quarantined for at least 14 days, likely at their own expense. Ferry travel has been indefinitely suspended. Media reports indicate authorities have banned public gatherings; however, this is unconfirmed.
  • Uzbekistan: Travelers who have visited China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Afghanistan, Japan, France, USA, Germany, Singapore, Spain, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan within 14 days of arrival will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers arriving from Azerbaijan, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, or the UK will be subject to health monitoring for 14 days and are advised not to visit public places during that time. Health authorities issued a decree banning public gatherings and large conferences through at least April 25. Flights to and from Afghanistan, China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea have been indefinitely suspended.


Information on official restrictions is fluid and can be contradictory or ambiguous. Authorities 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.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Check health-screening requirements before travel and allow additional time for immigration at all ports of entry. Consider delaying travel 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.

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