Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Uzbekistan lifts state of emergency as of May 11; implements tiered restrictions to stem spread of COVID-19. Severe disruptions likely.

This alert affects Uzbekistan

This alert began 12 May 2020 11:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Uzbekistan have lifted a nationwide state of emergency, as of May 11, which was imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Uzbek authorities have now shifted to a tiered quarantine alert system to gradually ease coronavirus-related restrictions, dependent on disease activity in each region of the country. Accordingly, the country has been divided into red, yellow, and green zones, where red indicates local transmission of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, yellow means active cases of COVID-19 exist, and green indicates no active cases within the past 14 days.

The red zone includes the Karakalpakstan, Andijan, Namangan, Ferghana, Samarkand, Tashkent (excluding Tashkent city), Bukhara and Syrdarya regions. In the red zone, only grocery stores, banks, law firms, insurance companies, shoe repair stores, hardware stores, agricultural markets, and mechanics may operate. Restaurants may only offer delivery services. The yellow zone includes Tashkent city, Surkhandarya Region, and Khorezm Region. In addition to the stores and industries that may operate in the red zone, most retail stores and workshops may open, and taxi services may resume. The green zone includes the Navoi, Jizzakh, and Kashkadarya regions. In the green zones, private cars may travel without restrictions, parks and public spaces may reopen, and residents may visit public offices.

Measures that remain in place for all categories include maintaining a social distance of at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) and the mandatory use of face masks in public. Public gatherings remain banned, except funerals, which may not exceed 15 people. Public transport and educational institutions remain suspended. Cinemas and playgrounds remain closed. Health checks may be carried out at the entrance to grocery stores and markets. Travel between cities and regions remains banned, except for essential and emergency workers or other workers with the appropriate permit. All land border crossings remain closed, though officials will permit foreign nationals attempting to leave the country to do so. All airports have suspended international and domestic operations; humanitarian, cargo, and some charter flights are permitted.

Officials could amend health and travel measures at short notice in the coming weeks in response to government threat assessments.

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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

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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