COVID-19 Information

U.S. citizens are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts from the Embassy and Consulate. Ensure you have added a trip to Kazakhstan on your profile to receive pertinent updates.

The Kazakhstani Ministry of Health has confirmed  453 cases of COVID-19 in the country as of April 3, 2020.

International Flights: International commercial flight options currently exist in Kazakhstan  U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Kazakhstan at this time.

Flight from Almaty: There is one flight scheduled from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Seoul, South Korea for the evening of April 3, 2020 on Asiana Airlines. (Asiana 578 at 11:00pm) This flight has received permission to operate despite the current flight restrictions at Almaty airport.  Tickets can be booked on www.flyasiana.com or by calling Asiana at +7 (727) 356-3235.  Onward connections are available to the United States. This may be one of the last opportunities to leave Almaty, and we urge those considering returning to the U.S. to make arrangements immediately. There is no guarantee flights will be available in the near term, and those who choose to remain overseas should be prepared to remain there for the foreseeable future.

Other International Flights: As of April 3, Mission Kazakhstan is aware of the following flights out of Kazakhstan with connections possible to the U.S.:

  • On April 8 and 15, there are flights scheduled on Air Astana from Uralsk to Frankfurt.
  • On April 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 there are flights scheduled on Air Astana from Atyrau to Amsterdam.

With limited exception, international flights to Nur-Sultan and Almaty Airports are suspended indefinitely. This has led to the cancellation of scheduled flights from these airports. Limited flight options may be available from other international airports operating in Kazakhstan; however, airlines may cease operating these flights with little or no notice. If you already have a ticket, we recommend contacting the airline directly to check the status of your flight.  We will attempt to keep our website updated at https://kz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/, but be advised that flight operating statuses could change rapidly.

The U.S. Embassy urges travelers to review airline flight safety records in order to make informed decisions when purchasing airline tickets.  In light of serious safety gaps that the U.S. Embassy has been alerted to with respect to certain airlines in Kazakhstan, without prior approval, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel on any Kazakhstani airline operating regularly scheduled flights except for Air Astana and FlyArystan. This policy only applies to the official travel of U.S. government personnel and will be reevaluated as reforms are undertaken and future technical reviews, such as aviation safety audits, determine that Kazakhstan’s civil aviation operations more substantially comply with acceptable international safety standards.

Repatriation: U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States should immediately work with their airlines to make travel arrangements if flights become available.  In case commercial transportation options cease to be available, we are compiling a list of persons seeking to leave Kazakhstan.  Please enroll in STEP and provide your name and contact information to our email addresses, and we will contact you as soon as we have any updates:

If your airport is Almaty: AlmatyUSCitizen@state.gov

If your airport is Nur-Sultan: Nur-SultanUSCitizen@state.gov

Your email message should include the following information:

  • Your full name as spelled in your passport
  • Information we can use to contact you now – a current phone number and email address.
  • Your date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Your passport number, and its date of issuance and expiration.  If it is not a U.S. passport, please note the country that issued it.  Please also note any non-U.S. citizen immediate family members traveling with you.
  • Your current location (city and country) and any special needs you may have, such as medical issues.

Air Transportation Help Line:  The Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan has a 24-hour call system specifically to answer travel questions and to direct callers to the best resource for their needs. The system numbers are: +7 (7172) 645-841 and +7 (7172) 645-840.

Updated Quarantine Measures: The State Chief Sanitary Officer on has introduced several measures that strengthen quarantine restrictions in the country:

  • Individuals entering Kazakhstan from abroad with limited exception will be held for two days for laboratory testing.
  • Taking photos or videos in ambulances, during medical home visits, or in healthcare or quarantine facilities is prohibited.
  • Individuals under monitored home quarantine may be required to download the Smart Astana application, which will be used to monitor compliance with quarantine measures.

In Nur-Sultan and Almaty, restrictions shuttering most business in these cities have been extended through April 13. In Shymkent, additional businesses will be closed starting April 4, the public transportation will run on a further reduced scheduled, and restaurants will be available for delivery only. Restrictions remain in effect in AktauKaragandaShakhtinskSaranTemirtauAbayAtyrau, Kostanay, Aktobe, Pavlodar, East Kazakhstan, Mangystau, and North Kazakhstan. These measures —which are distinct to each city and region — and the list of locations where measures are in place, can change with short or no notice. Residents are urged to consult local government websites for additional information. Mission Kazakhstan provides below a summary of recently introduced restrictions. For information on measures implemented previously and still in effect, see further below.

Quarantine Measures:  Kazakhstani authorities have announced quarantine measures in various cities and regions throughout Kazakhstan, including Nur-SultanAlmatyShymkentAktauKaragandaShakhtinskSaranTemirtauAbayAtyrau, Kostanay, Aktobe, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan, and East Kazakhstan. These restrictions vary by city and region and largely restrict movement to, from, and within cities; shutter non-essential businesses; close public spaces, such as parks and pedestrian areas; and prohibit residents from leaving their homes without an excepted and essential purpose, such as visiting a nearby store or pharmacy. In many cities, increased police and military patrols will enforce these quarantine measures, and those found violating the restrictions can be fined or imprisoned. Note that cities under quarantine and specific quarantine measures may change with little or no notice; residents should visit their respective municipal website for additional information.

In Nur-Sultan and Almaty, all non-essential local businesses and organizations will be closed in Nur-Sultan and Almaty through at least April 13. Certain organizations may be exempted from this requirement, including state and local government bodies, law enforcement agencies, healthcare organizations, media entities, grocery stores and pharmacies.  The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan will remain open and operational on a limited basis.

During this period, increased numbers of police and military patrols will enforce these measures, and individuals outside their homes may be questioned as to their purpose of travel, and, in some cases, required to document their designation as an essential employee. Roadblocks are in place to enforce compliance of those traveling by vehicle. Individuals violating quarantine measures can be fined or imprisoned. Previous restrictions that closed all public spaces, banned gathering in groups of three or more (with the exception of family members), and prohibited unaccompanied minors from leaving their home remain in effect, as do strict controls prohibiting entering or exiting the cities.

Below are city-specific restrictions that Mission Kazakhstan is currently aware of. This list may not be comprehensive and specific measures may change with short or no notice. Residents are urged to consult their municipal government website for specific information.

In Nur-Sultan:

  • All non-essential businesses and organizations will be closed. Essential businesses, such as medical facilities, pharmacies, and some government offices will remain open.
  • Grocery stores will operate from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be open only for delivery and will close at 8:00 PM.
  • Public transportation will be shuttered.
  • Residents will be restricted from leaving their homes, except for essential purposes, such as visiting a grocery store or traveling to work. Those who work for an essential business or organization must carry documentation confirming their employment status. Some residents report having been stopped by the police for not wearing masks outside their residence.
  • Businesses and organizations exempted from closures must provide transportation for their essential employees.
  • Residents age 55 and older are urged not to leave their residences.

In Almaty:

  • All non-essential businesses and organizations will be closed. Essential businesses, such as medical facilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, and some government offices will remain open.
  • Public transportation will operate from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM and occupancy will be limited to 50 percent of capacity.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be open only for delivery and will operate from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
  • Residents will be restricted from leaving their homes, except for essential purposes, such as visiting a local grocery store or pharmacy within walking distance. Other activities, such as walking a dog, are restricted to within 500 meters from place of residence.
  • Those traveling for work must carry documentation confirming they work for an essential business or organization when traveling.
  • Residents age 55 and older are urged not to leave their residences.
  • In the greater Almaty region, movement into and out of the region is limited and public spaces are closed.

In Shymkent:

  • The airport, train and bus stations are closed. Public transportation in the city is operating from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Public spaces are closed, including parks, squares, pedestrian promenades, and playgrounds.
  • Commercial entities are closed. Food markets will operate from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and groceries stores are open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
  • Family, religious, or other private gatherings in private homes or residential complexes are banned.
  • Restaurants are open for delivery only.
  • Entering or exiting the city is restricted.
  • Individuals 55 years old and older are prohibited from leaving their residence without “strict need.”

In Aktobe:

  • Residents are restricted from leaving their homes except for essential purposes, for example trips to grocery stores or pharmacies.
  • Public transportation, train stations, and the airport are closed.
  • Restaurants are open for delivery only.

In Mangynstau and Aktau:

  • Residents will be restricted from leaving their residences except for essential purposes, such as going to a grocery store or pharmacy or traveling to work.
  • Visiting neighbors, relatives, or colleagues will be restricted, as will visiting public spaces, such as parks.
  • Movement between cities will be restricted; train and bus stations will close.
  • Airport and seaport operations will be shuttered until April 15.
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open; shopping centers that sell consumer goods will be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Public transportation will operate from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Restaurants will be open for delivery only.

In Atyrau:

  • Most businesses, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, will be closed or limited to delivery-only service.
  • Movement in and out of the city will be restricted, and hours of operation for public transportation will be limited.

In East Kazakhstan:

  • In Oskemen and Semey, local authorities will distribute passes to residents based on their address or license plate number. These passes will dictate on which days residents may leave their residence.
  • Non-essential businesses will close.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be open for delivery only.

In KaragandaShakhtinskSaranTemirtau, and Abay:

  • Residents will be limited from leaving their residences, with the exception of acquiring groceries or medicine, traveling to work, or visiting a bank.
  • Public spaces are closed, including parks, squares, pedestrian promenades, and playgrounds. Gathering in groups of three or more, with the exception of members of the same family, is prohibited.
  • Most stores will be closed, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. Restaurants will be available for delivery only.
  • Residents over 65 years of age are urged not to leave their residences.
  • Movement both internal to and between these cities will be limited.

In North Kazakhstan:

  • Movement into and out of the region will be limited.
  • Public places, including parks and day cares, will be closed.

In Pavlodar:

  • Movement into and out of the city will be restricted.
  • Residents will be limited from leaving their residence after 10 PM, with limited exception, for example trips to a doctor or grocery stores or pharmacies in proximity to their residence.

Meanwhile, authorities are disinfecting public spaces and residential complexes in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. Markets, playgrounds, pedestrian areas, and areas around residential buildings will be treated with disinfectants. It is possible these measures will be expanded to other regions. Residents of affected areas in Almaty may be informed by loudspeakers and written notices on doors. In Nur-Sultan, disinfection will take place overnight starting at 8:00 PM. The authorities asked all residents to remove bicycles, baby strollers and other items from staircases or lobbies in residential areas.

Routine Consular Services for American Citizens:  The U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sultan and U.S. Consulate General in Almaty continue to provide American Citizen Services, including passport renewals.  We encourage all U.S. citizens to check their passport expiration date to ensure it is valid for travel.  Many countries require that passports have at least six months remaining validity to allow entry to a foreign citizen.

Visa Services for Americans in Kazakhstan:  Due to the restrictions currently in place for non-essential services, visa services for foreign citizens in Kazakhstan may be unavailable until the State of Emergency is lifted.  Accordingly, American citizens may face difficulty attempting to extend their Kazakhstani visas.  The Ministry of Internal Affairs has stated that during the State of Emergency, foreigners will not be held liable for violations of the terms of their visas, such as overstays or other timely departure issues.  Visa services are expected to return to normal once the State of Emergency has been lifted.

COVID-19 Testing for Certain Travelers:  In the event the Kazakhstani authorities determine that you have likely been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, they may require you to go to a medical treatment facility in order to be tested.  In that event, please comply with instructions while at the same time taking such personal items as you may need if the testing process requires an overnight stay or a longer period of quarantine.  Examples include smart phone with charger, any required medicines, personal hygiene items, etc.

State of Emergency:  As of March 16, 2020, a state of emergency is in effect in Kazakhstan that restricts entry to and exit from the country for all but the following:

  • citizens of Kazakhstan who previously left the country – upon their return to Kazakhstan;
  • citizens of Kazakhstan traveling abroad for treatment – upon presentation of supporting documents of healthcare institutions;
  • foreigners who previously entered Kazakhstan – for their departure from Kazakhstan;
  • staff of the diplomatic service of Kazakhstan and foreign states and members of their families, as well as members of delegations of foreign states and international organizations traveling to Kazakhstan at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • members of train, locomotive, aircraft and sea crews; service personnel of foreign cross-border facilities on the territory of Kazakhstan and service personnel of Kazakh cross-border facilities on the territory of neighboring states;
  • foreign passengers traveling on transit passenger trains – if they left and were en route before restrictions came into force; foreigners (stateless persons), holders of Kazakh residence permits;
  • foreigners who are family members of citizens of Kazakhstan (subject to confirmation of kinship – spouses, parents and children).

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice.

Actions to Take:

Assistance:

  • U.S. Embassy – Nur-Sultan
    Rakhymzhan Koskharbayev Ave., No. 3
    Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan 010010
    Telephone: +7 (7172) 70-21-00

https://kz.usembassy.gov/

  • U.S. Consulate General – Almaty
    Samal-2, 97 Zholdasbekov St.
    Almaty, Kazakhstan 050051
    Telephone: +7 (727) 250-76-12/17

https://kz.usembassy.gov/

  • State Department – Consular Affairs

1-888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Kazakhstan  Country Information

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