Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Kyrgyzstan resumes scheduled commercial flights with Russia as of Sept. 21 following coronavirus disease-related suspension.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 07:41 PM UTC
Alert Expires 09 Oct 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 has resumed scheduled commercial flights with Russia as of Sept. 21; flights between the two nations had been suspended since March as part of efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Flights will operate between Bishkek's Manas International Airport (FRU) and Moscow, as well as between Osh International Airport (OSS) and Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Surgut, and Krasnoyarsk in Russia. Travelers arriving from Russia are exempt from Kyrgyzstan's 14-day self-isolation requirement; Kyrgyz citizens travelling to Russia must produce proof of having texted negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 3 days prior to 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 have already eased a number of the measures that had been imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19. A limited number of international flights are operating; most services are charter flights for returning Kyrgyz citizens. Kyrgyz nationals returning from countries with elevated disease activity are placed in mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Inter-regional transport services, including daily domestic flights between Bishkek and Osh, are also operating, though passengers must undergo health screenings, including temperature checks, before boarding transport. Public transport is operating at reduced levels. Shopping centers, outdoor markets, catering establishments, hotels, spas, car dealerships, places of worship, and many other nonessential businesses have reopened, subject to social distancing requirements. 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 baths. Protective masks are mandatory, and social distancing must be practiced in all establishments. Authorities continue to advise against nonessential travel, and all persons leaving their accommodations 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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