Critical Alert

Kazakhstan maintaining international entry restrictions as of Oct. 2. Significant COVID-19-related business and travel disruptions remain.

Alert Begins 02 Oct 2020 03:49 PM UTC
Alert Expires 09 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

 

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

 

Summary
Authorities in Kazakhstan are maintaining international entry restrictions as of Oct. 2 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. The resumption of further flights will be carried out in phases.

Residents of countries with which direct flights have not resumed remain prohibited from entry, except for returning Kazakh citizens, diplomats, and those invited by the government. Arrivals from Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, or Thailand must take a temperature check and complete a questionnaire. Arrivals from elsewhere must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days prior to travel, or submit to a test on entry; arrivals are likely to be held in self-isolation for up to two days while the test result is confirmed; symptomatic individuals are hospitalized, while asymptomatic individuals who test positive must self-isolate for a further 12 days. Kazakh citizens are only permitted to travel to countries with which Kazakhstan has resumed direct flights.

Public transportation and nonessential businesses are open, 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 be 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 face coverings 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.

 

Advice
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.

 

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