Health  Alert – U.S. Mission Kazakhstan (April 3, 2020)

Location:  Kazakhstan

Event:  COVID-19 and Travel Update

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 Kazakhstanat 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 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, 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 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, visit our COVID-19 Information website.

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.

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

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