Uzbek authorities have announced that the country's borders are to reopen from October 1, following a months-long closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Cross-border traffic and international trains and flights are expected to resume over the course of the month. Countries have been classified under a traffic light system as 'green', 'yellow', or 'red', depending on the levels of COVID-19 infection in each country, with different regulations regarding entry depending on the color. Travelers arriving from 'green' countries, which include China, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Georgia, Hungary, Finland, Latvia, Austria, and Japan, will be able to enter Uzbekistan without restrictions. Those arriving from 'yellow' countries, which consist of Azerbaijan, Belarus, the UAE, and the EU (except for the UK and Spain) may enter provided they have undergone a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the 72 hours prior to their arrival. All other countries have been classified as 'red', and arrivals must provide a negative PCR test and undergo a 14-day quarantine to be permitted entry.
Most business activity has resumed in Uzbekistan. Gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted, although social distancing measures and the wearing of face masks are mandatory in public spaces.
As of Monday, September 21, authorities have confirmed 52,070 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 437 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.