Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: International passenger flights remain largely suspended in Uzbekistan as of Sept. 8 due to COVID-19. Domestic restrictions continue.

Alert Begins 08 Sep 2020 01:44 PM UTC
Alert Expires 22 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Uzbekistan have relaxed numerous travel and business disruptions that were imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of Sept. 8. Uzbekistan resumed international passenger flights with Turkey and the UAE Sept. 4; flights with Germany will resume Sept 10, Kazakhstan Sept. 11, Kyrgyzstan Sept. 14, and the US Sept. 27. Travelers arriving in Uzbekistan must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to their flight's departure; the certificate must be written in English or Russian. Inbound travelers will be subject to a health screening and must self-isolate for 14-days; travelers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be hospitalized. International passenger flights with all other destinations remain suspended, except for repatriation flights for Uzbek citizens.

The land border with Kyrgyzstan was reopened Sept. 2. Inbound travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival at the border; these travelers will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Land borders with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan remain closed, though officials will permit foreign nationals attempting to leave the country to do so.

Authorities lifted a number of restrictions on gatherings and business activity Sept. 5. Restaurants and cafes, theaters, cinemas, amusement parks, and houses of worship may reopen with sanitization and social distancing protocols in place.

Authorities gradually eased some COVID-19 measures through August. Hotels, museums, hair salons, barbershops, and outdoor dining establishments were permitted to reopen Aug. 15. Private gatherings of up to 30 persons are now permitted. Municipal and inter-regional public transport resumed Aug. 17. Large shops, gyms, and markets reopened Aug. 20.

Certain measures remain in place nationwide. All persons are required to comply with social-distancing guidelines of 2 meters (6.5 feet) and wear facemasks while in public. Educational institutions remain closed; parent-teacher associations have been permitted to petition regional authorities to reopen individual institutions. Medical screenings may be conducted before entering grocery stores and markets. Face-to-face governmental or business meetings are prohibited.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

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. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.

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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