Several European, Central Asian countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct health screenings as of March 2 due to COVID-19.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

This alert began 02 Mar 2020 11:43 GMT and is scheduled to expire 09 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions and health screenings
  • Location(s): Europe and Central Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of March 2
  • Impact: Flight disruptions; longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Several governments in Europe and Central Asia have intensified travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Although specific measures vary country, the following procedures were in effect as of March 2:

  • Armenia: Authorities have suspended visa-free travel for Chinese nationals. All land borders with Iran have been closed indefinitely from Feb. 24. Enhanced health screenings are underway at all points of entry.
  • Azerbaijan: Authorities have suspended visa-free travels for Chinese nationals. All land borders with Iran have been closed for two weeks from Feb. 29.
  • Georgia: Flights to and from China remain suspended until at least 29 March. Foreign travelers who have been in Iran in the past 14 days or China in the past 21 days will be denied entry. Authorities may quarantine Georgian residents arriving from these countries for at least 14 days.
  • Italy: All flights to and from China and Iran remain suspended indefinitely.
  • Kazakhstan: All flights to and from China suspended indefinitely as of Feb. 3. All land borders with China remain closed to travelers. A suspension of flights with Iran entered into effect March 1; a ban on entry of Iranian nationals will take effect March 5.
  • Kyrgyzstan: Travelers arriving from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Japan, and Korea will be placed in quarantine for 14 days.
  • Russia: All land borders with China remain closed. Flights to and from China and Iran have been suspended indefinitely. Indefinite suspension of flights with South Korea enters into effect March 1, with the exception of Aeroflot (SU) and Korea Air (KE) flights between Moscow and Seoul, which will continue to operate. Non-Russian resident nationals of China, Hong Kong, and Iran are not currently allowed entry into Russia.
  • Switzerland: Flights to and from mainland China remain suspended until March 28. Authorities have banned all gatherings of over 1,000 participants, including demonstrations, public events, and major sporting events.
  • Tajikistan: Flights to and from China and Iran have been suspended indefinitely. Authorities have also indefinitely closed the Kulma Pass border crossing with China.
  • Turkmenistan: Authorities have indefinitely suspended all flights to and from China.
  • Uzbekistan: Authorities have indefinitely suspended flights from Afghanistan, Iran, and Italy.


Countries could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from mainland China and other countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, or Thailand. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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