Coronavirus – Central Asia

Travel Information & Tips
Posted on: 17 January 2022

Coronavirus – Central Asia

If you are planning a trip to Central Asia or have already booked a tour, you’ll likely have some questions about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) may have on your plans. At Kalpak Travel, our priority is the safety and well-being of our travelers and staff; therefore, we will try to help you understand more about how the spread of coronavirus may or may not affect your travels in Central Asia. Below, we explain changes to our Booking Terms & Conditions due to the coronavirus. In addition, we require all travelers on our scheduled group tours to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

We are making some changes to our general Booking Terms and  Conditions due to the coronavirus, which has impacted travel plans for individuals around the world. For this year’s bookings, we apply no change fee. If you will decide to postpone a trip you can do it free of charge.

 

New Bookings — Deposit and Full Payment

To confirm the booking, you are required to pay a non-refundable 500 EUR per person deposit. The payment of the trip price balance is due 15 days before the departure date.

We highly recommend getting good insurance that covers repatriation and medical costs, as well as cancellations of the trip and flights.

 

Cancellation by You

  • If you cancel your trip up to 16 days before the departure, we will hold the deposit you have paid as a credit towards an alternative trip in the future with Kalpak Travel (no expiration date). No refund of the deposit is possible. If you have paid already more than the deposit more than 15 days prior to your trip, you may choose to use this amount as credit towards a future trip or to get it refunded.
  • If you have paid in full and canceled 15 days or fewer prior to departure, we will charge the deposit as a cancellation fee and hold the remaining amount as credit towards any future trip with Kalpak Travel

 

Cancellation by Us

If we cancel your trip booking, you can choose to transfer 100% of the money paid for any future trip with Kalpak Travel. The alternative option is to receive a refund of payment, minus the deposit to allow for unrecoverable costs.

The amount paid can be also transferred to another person as a credit towards any future trip with Kalpak Travel.

How does Kalpak Travel determine whether or not to cancel a trip?

Your safety is our number one priority. We consult all travel advisories of the countries where our travelers are from as well as updates from the World Health Organization. We are also constantly in touch with our local partners in each Central Asian country and monitor closely the situation on the ground. If you are affected by a cancellation we will directly get in touch with you.

 

Important Terms & Conditions that apply to the above

Unrecoverable Costs
The coronavirus pandemic became a worldwide “force majeure event,” which is an event that is outside of the reasonable control of either party to a contract. In circumstances like this, in which a force majeure event results in the cancellation of your trip, we suffer unrecoverable losses. Therefore, if we cancel your trip and you select a refund, we will deduct the deposit from any refund issued to you to cover these losses.

 

Overview of the situation in Central Asia as of January 17, 2022:

General update: Just like in the rest of the world, the Omicron wave has hit Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan have been open to travelers from around the world throughout 2021 and it looks like they will remain open in 2022. There is no quarantine in place in these three countries and no relevant covid restrictions, except for the negative Covid-19 PCR test result required for entry to the country (proof of vaccination is also accepted in Kyrgyzstan). In Kazakhstan, the political situation is stable again, but there are quarantine and other entry restrictions in place due to Covid-19. Hopefully, in two to three months from now, the Omicron wave will be over and it will be possible again to travel to Kazakhstan. Turkmenistan is still completely closed and it is not clear when it will open for tourism – possibly not before the second half of 2022. In 2021 we have successfully operated trips to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Kazakhstan – In January 2022 numbers of Covid-19 cases have hit new records with more than 10,000 new cases per day. About half of the population is fully vaccinated, including most people working in tourism and the hospitality industry. The visa-free regime has been reinstated, but citizens of many countries still require a special IDC permit to enter the country. You can check here. Since 13 January 2022, there is a mandatory 7-day quarantine for citizens of the following ten countries: Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Czech Republic. Please check entry & exit information.

Kyrgyzstan – The number of new cases of Covid-19 has increased sharply in the last few days due to Omicron. However, the entry restrictions have been lifted on December 4, 2020, for arrivals through international airports in Bishkek, Osh, or Issyk-Kul as well as the land border with Uzbekistan. Most nationalities can enter Kyrgyzstan visa-free and others can get an electronic visa online. No travel restrictions inside the country. Land borders with Kazakhstan and with Tajikistan are still closed. Since December 2020 there has been no change and we do not expect any new entry restrictions to be introduced regardless of how the number of Covid-19 cases will develop. Full vaccination of negative PCR Covid-19 test, not older than 72 hours, is required to enter the country. Please check entry & exit information. Most people working in the tourism and hospitality business are fully vaccinated, but only less than 20% of the general population.

Tajikistan – Extremely low number of reported cases of Covid-19 due to limited testing. It is possible to enter the country by air – with a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours. Most nationalities can get an electronic visa. Land borders are still closed but are supposed to open soon with Uzbekistan and not so soon with Kyrgyzstan. No restrictions inside the country. please check further entry & exit information. Mass vaccinations have started and about one-third of the population are fully vaccinated.

Turkmenistan – There were never any confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Turkmenistan. All borders are closed until further notice. It is not known yet when borders will open again and regular flights will resume. Visas are not being processed currently. New Covid-related restrictions have been imposed in the country to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. Most people are already fully vaccinated and vaccination is compulsory. Please check entry & exit information.

Uzbekistan – Similar situation like in Kyrgyzstan – the numbers of cases of Covid-19 are rising sharply, but the country is open without quarantine (for people traveling on an organized tour) and will remain open. It is possible to visit Uzbekistan with a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours prior to arrival in Uzbekistan. Land borders are also open. Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit Uzbekistan. The ones, who need a visa – for example US citizens – can get a visa on arrival at Tashkent Airport with a pre-arranged invitation letter (the electronic visa website is currently not working). Please check further entry & exit information.

 

Travel Advisories

Entry requirements and travel advisories are changing fast and frequently. Please check your government’s travel advice before you decide to proceed with a trip. Below, we have compiled links to some of the larger government travel advisories:

Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map powered by Timatic on the IATA website

Switzerland

World Health Organization (WHO) coronavirus situation reports

Australia: Smart Traveller

Canada: Travel Advice and Advisories

New Zealand: SafeTravel

United Kingdom: Foreign Travel Advice

United States: US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs

 

Questions – Contact us

The best way to contact us is via email – info@kalpak-travel.com, WhatsApp – +41786572701, or Skype – Kalpak Travel.

These are extraordinary times and we are trying to be as accommodating as possible. We are happy to discuss each case individually and provide suggestions.