Uzbekistan is officially reopening its borders for tourism and resuming international flights starting on October 1, 2020.
The formal Soviet nation located in Central Asia first closed its borders on March 15 in response to the virus and has virtually stayed shut for tourism ever since.
On September 18th the Republican Special Commission made the announcement that border will reopen on October 1st, once again allowing tourists to arrive from select nations.
Countries that are allowed to enter in October are classified under a traffic light system that is determined by current infection rates and will dictate the specific entry requirements for the tourist.
Below we have all the available information about Uzbekistan reopening for tourism, including which nations are permitted to go, all entry requirements, and everything else you need to know.
Entry Requirements for Uzbekistan
Countries that can visit Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is adopting a traffic light system for entry after October 1st. All countries will be classified as red, yellow, or green – each having their own entry rules.
- South Korea
Asymptomatic travelers from GREEN nations are permitted to enter Uzbekistan with no restrictions, meaning no tests and no quarantines.
- All EU countries (excluding the UK and Spain)
PCR Test Required
All travelers from YELLOW nations will be required to perform a PCR test no longer than 72 hours before arrival into the country and present the negative results to both the airline prior to flights, and customs upon landing. The PCR test must be in English or Russian.
If no negative PCR test is done, the passenger will have to undergo testing on arrival AND quarantine for 14 days.
- Rest of world not listed in ‘Green’ or ‘Yellow’ categories
PCR Test + 14 Day Quarantine Required
All travelers from RED nations will be required to perform a PCR test no longer than 72 hours before arrival into the country and present the negative results to both the airline prior to flights, and customs upon landing. The PCR test must be in English or Russian.
Upon arrival, all RED passengers will also need to quarantine for 14 days, even if the test is negative.
Group Tour Exception – Quarantine ‘bypass’
There have been multiple reports of a ‘group tour exception’ for tourists who come as part of a guided tour from 5 to 15 people.
For example: Let’s say a tourist from the UK, which is currently classified as a ‘red’ country, enters Uzbekistan with a local guided tour company, they will get to bypass the 14-day quarantine, as long as they bring a negative PCR test.
CONFIRMED: From 1 Oct, tourists arriving in Uzbekistan from the U.K. can enter without restrictions if a) they have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of flying; & b) they are on a group tour of 5-15 people. Individual tourists must still self isolate as U.K. is red country.— Uzbekistan Tourism Ambassador (@UZAmbassador) September 19, 2020
Is entry based on residency or location?
It seems that Uzbekistan is more concerned with the passenger’s location than their residency. The US embassy site suggests that the criteria of country (red, yellow, green) is based on location for the last 10 days. They state “Passengers entering from “green” countries (persons who have been there for the last 10 days) are not subject to any sort of quarantine control.”
Flights into Uzbekistan
As the news of Uzbekistan reopening is still quite new, many airlines have not yet resumed their normal schedule, but here are some flights we know of so far:
- Minsk to Tashkent on Belavia, already resumed
- Istanbul to Tashkent on Turkish Airlines and Uzbekistan Air, already resumed
- Almaty to Tashkent on Air Astana, already resumed
- Dubai to Tashkent on FlyDubai, already resumed
- Novosibirsk to Tashkent on S7, resuming Oct 25
- Destinations like Moscow, Seoul and 40+ other cities should resume in a few months
Uzbekistan Pays Tourists $3000 If They Become Infected?
Every news outlet in the world covered the story when Uzbekistan launched their “Uzbekistan: Safe Travel Guaranteed” campaign back in June. The eye-catching campaign promised to compensate tourists with up to $3000 if they contracted the virus while on vacation in Uzbekistan.
The nation also said it was planning to reopen to a list of countries, but then, silence.
Case numbers started to soar soon after the announcement, and the government kept the borders closed for all non-essential travel, effectively canceling the campaign.
Travel Off Path does not believe the campaign, or the cash offer, is in effect.
Disclaimer: Uzbekistan’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.