Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Central Asian countries continue to enforce restrictions to prevent spread of COVID-19 as of April 29.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

This alert began 29 Apr 2020 13:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Central Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions, increased security

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.

  • Kazakhstan: Authorities extended the state of emergency through at least May 11. All borders are closed, and non-resident foreign nationals barred from entry. Strict quarantine measures have been introduced in several areas, including the capital, Nur-Sultan, and Almaty. Entry to and exit from those areas are severely restricted. Nonessential movement is prohibited; public are banned. Most nonessential businesses are closed, though some sectors are permitted to reopen from April 27.
  • Kyrgyzstan: An indefinite nationwide emergency regime is in effect. Nationwide internal movement restrictions apply; residents may not travel outside their village or district without a permit, except in an emergency. A state of emergency is in effect in Bishkek, Osh, Jalalabad, and the At-Bashy district in Naryn Region until May 10; a nightly 2000-0700 curfew has been imposed. Public transport services in Bishkek, Osh, and Jalalabad have been heavily reduced. Nonessential facilities are closed or restricted. Foreign nationals are indefinitely barred from entering the country. Public gatherings are indefinitely banned.
  • Tajikistan: Authorities in Dushanbe have ordered the closure of open-air and enclosed markets April 30-May 10. National outdoor sports leagues will be suspended nationwide April 30-May 10. Border crossings remain indefinitely closed for most foreign nationals; international passenger flights are suspended. All arrivals are subject to 14-day isolation. Freight traffic is exempt from the restrictions. Authorities have closed public facilities, including schools, canceled some mass gatherings, and banned export of some agricultural products.
  • Turkmenistan: Nationwide internal movement restrictions have been imposed. Unconfirmed reports state freight traffic has also been affected; freight trucks may not enter or transit the country through April 30. Individuals are not permitted to leave their districts of residence without permits. All national, intercity, and regional highways are closed to all persons except freight vehicles, permit holders, and emergency services personnel. Land borders with Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan remain closed indefinitely.
  • Uzbekistan: Authorities allowed some businesses, including mechanics, agricultural supply stores, and construction material stores, to reopen as of April 27. Residents may leave their homes on nonessential business, provided they observe social distancing guidelines. Most international and domestic flights remain suspended. Humanitarian, cargo, and some charter flights will be permitted. Nonresident foreign nationals are barred from entering the country. Individuals may not leave their district of residence. All public transport has been suspended in regional urban centers. All land borders are closed. Restrictions are in place through at least May 10.

Airlines in the region are operating a significantly reduced service, and many governments have suspended or curtailed flight operations. Further service reductions, as well as airport closures, could be announced at short notice. Freight vehicles are typically permitted to transit international borders.

Information on official restrictions is fluid and can be contradictory or ambiguous. Authorities could expand their response in the coming days, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). 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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