Tajikistan bans entry to citizens of 35 countries due to coronavirus

At Dushanbe airport. Photo from Ozodi.org

The Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) of Tajikistan has informed local and international airline companies that they are not to bring citizens of 35 states into the country. A similar notification has also been sent to tourism agencies, Asia-Plus reports (in Russian). The restrictions have been introduced in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus to the country.

The list of countries whose citizens are temporarily banned from entering Tajikistan is composed of China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Finland, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Israel, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Afghanistan, Iraq and Algeria.

The CAA has recommended that tickets no longer be sold to citizens of these countries, if they plan to visit Tajikistan on direct or transit flights. According to the deputy head of the agency, Aziz, Nabizoda, airline companies should refund passengers who have already bought tickets.

“If citizens from these countries arrive at Tajik airports, they will be sent back on the very same flights,” the statement says.

Tajik citizens who arrive home from these countries will be placed in two-week quarantine.

Previously, on 26 February, the Tajik authorities announced that they would place all passengers entering the country from Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran in quarantine. Prior to this only travellers arriving from China were required to be quarantined.

Due to the coronavirus, Tajikistan has suspended flights to and from China and Iran, and is currently considering stopping flight connections with Afghanistan, which reported its first case of the virus last week.

The COVID-19 coronavirus first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. The majority of victims of the virus have been in China, but around 9,000 cases have been reported in other countries. According to the latest reports, the number of those infected is over 89,000 people, with more than 3,000 deaths. So far, there have been no official reports of any cases in Central Asia. The region’s governments have introduced severe measures to prevent the virus from spreading.