Kazakhstan maintaining international entry restrictions as of Oct. 9. Significant COVID-19-related business and travel disruptions remain.
Alert Begins 09 Oct 2020 11:14 AM UTC
Alert Expires 26 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Kazakhstan continue to maintain international entry restrictions as of Oct. 9 as part of efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have allowed flights to resume with several countries including Belarus, Egypt, Germany, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan, though capacity is likely to be limited. All arrivals, including Kazakh nationals, must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Kazakhstan. These restrictions do not apply to diplomats, air crews, train crews, ship crews, freight truck drivers, and cross-border workers. Returning Kazakh nationals who do not produce a negative test upon arrival will be tested and placed in quarantine for at least two days; symptomatic individuals are hospitalized, while asymptomatic individuals who test positive must self-isolate for a further 12 days.
Authorities continue to ease or tighten localized restrictions in response to COVID-19 activity in specific urban centers. Quarantine measures have been extended until Oct. 26 in Shymkent. Under the quarantine regime, markets and fairs may only operate 0600-1800, and indoor markets may not operate on weekends and public holidays. However, playgrounds and food courts in the city may now open. Strict quarantine measures have been introduced in Bulayevo, in North Kazakhstan Region. Persons are prohibited from entering or exiting the city; inter-city and regional public transport services have been suspended. All nonessential businesses are prohibited from operating; government agencies, law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, grocery stores, and pharmacies will still operate. A 2200-0600 curfew is in effect; residents may only leave their homes to work or seek medical attention. Quarantine restrictions have been eased in Almaty, as of Oct. 6. Theaters may reopen provided they do not exceed 50 percent capacity and maintain social distancing. Restaurants, cafes, car service stations, laundromats and household repair stores may operate under extended hours.
Public transportation and nonessential businesses are operating in much of Kazakhstan, including shopping centers, retailers, covered markets, salons, and restaurants; all establishments must operate at reduced capacity, enforce social distancing, and provide hand sanitizer. Residents may exercise in groups of no more than five people. Authorities continue to recommend that establishments allow employees to work from home; offices are limited to having no more than 20 percent of their staff working on site. Additionally, persons over 65 years of age are not permitted to leave their accommodation except in case of emergency.
National authorities continue to maintain some business and travel restrictions. Access to several major cities, including Nur-Sultan and Almaty, remains restricted. Bars, nightclubs, food courts, and cinemas are not currently permitted to operate, and tougher restrictions are typically enforced at weekends. Public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Residents must wear protective facemasks and practice social distancing at all times while in public.
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
The restrictive measures taken by Kazakhstan are similar to actions taken by other governments in the region in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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.
Check access requirements if traveling to major cities, and minimize movement within any quarantined zones; allow additional time for travel. Reconfirm all flights and business appointments. Follow all official directives. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Prepare for freight delivery disruptions. Consider delaying or detouring goods. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.
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.