Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Kyrgyzstan to resume flights with Kuwait and Uzbekistan Sept. 10 and 20, respectively; authorities now permit travel with over 30 countries.

Alert Begins 09 Sep 2020 02:54 PM UTC
Alert Expires 23 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; heightened security

Summary
Kyrgyzstan will resume flights with Kuwait from Sept. 10 and Uzbekistan from Sept. 20. Flights between these nations have been suspended since March as part of the government's effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Travelers arriving from Kuwait or Uzbekistan are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Authorities maintain a list of over 30 countries with stable COVID-19 activity whose citizens can enter Kyrgyzstan without restrictions. The list includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, South Korea, and Japan. The availability of flights remains dependent on COVID-19 travel restrictions in the listed countries. Most nonresident foreign nationals from countries not on the list remain banned from entering Kyrgyzstan; exceptions include student visa holders, travelers seeking urgent medical attention, and travelers entering the country to attend the funeral of a close relative. All passengers will likely be subject to health screenings, including a temperature check.

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan previously eased measures imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19. International flights have resumed at a greatly reduced frequency; most services are charter flights returning Kyrgyz citizens. Kyrgyz nationals returning from countries with elevated disease activity will be placed in a mandatory quarantine facility for 14 days. Interregional transport services, including daily domestic flights between Bishkek and Osh, have now resumed, though passengers must undergo health screenings, including temperature checks, before boarding transport. Public transport has also resumed with reduced services. Shopping centers, outdoor markets, catering establishments, hotels, spas, car dealerships, places of worship, and many other nonessential businesses have now reopened, subject to social distancing requirements. Electricians, plumbers, and other public utility services are allowed to operate. Kindergartens that pass a Ministry of Health inspection are permitted to open.

Numerous restrictive measures remain in place. Some leisure facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, swimming pools, gyms, and public saunas (banyas). Protective masks are mandatory, and social distancing guidelines must be practiced in all establishments. Authorities continue to advise against nonessential travel, and all persons leaving their accommodation must carry a contact tracing form. Police roadblocks, including health checks, may be established on intercity and regional roads to identify and contain suspected cases. Public gatherings are prohibited.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Advice
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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