Several European and Central Asian countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct health screenings Feb. 28 due to COVID-19.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

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

This alert began 28 Feb 2020 19:34 GMT and is scheduled to expire 09 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Travel restrictions and health screenings
  • Location(s): Europe and Central Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • 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 novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although specific measures vary country, the following procedures were in effect as of Feb. 28:

  • 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.
  • 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. Suspension of flights with Iran enters into effect March 1.
  • 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 exception of Aeroflot (SU) and Korea Air (KE) flights between Moscow and Seoul which will continue to operate.
  • 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.


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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