Coronavirus – Central Asia

Travel Information & Tips
Posted on: 30 December 2020

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 strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor and check government advisories for more advice and information.

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.

Please note, we have already published all small-group tour dates for 2022: https://kalpak-travel.com/search-tour/. All departures are guaranteed and the maximum group size is 12 people. If you decide to switch from 2020 to 2021 or 2022 departure we have decided to keep the prices the same as for 2020.

 

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 cancel 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 December 30, 2020:

General update: After an increase of cases across the region in September/ October (except for Kazakhstan), numbers are clearly decreasing again while most measures to contain the spread of the virus are no longer in effect. This is certainly a promising sign. Except for Kyrgyzstan, many entry restrictions are still in place and borders are mostly closed for tourists. It’s difficult to make any predictions about the 2021 season (starting in April). We expect to be able to run safely some trips in spring and most if not all of our scheduled trips in summer and fall 2021.

Kazakhstan – 9932 confirmed active cases of coronavirus. The peak was reached on July 27, 2020 (29720 active cases). The number of new cases per day is around 700-800 at the moment (up from around 100 in Sptember and October, but stable since early November). There is a second wave right now, but with far less infections than the first wave in summer. Border restrictions are still in effect: Most foreign nationals, including those from the UK, USA, Australia, are currently prevented from traveling to Kazakhstan. Nationals of the following countries are allowed to travel to Kazakhstan, provided they have a valid visa and PCR test issued at most 3 days before arrival to Kazakhstan: Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates. The visa-free entry has been suspended until May 1, 2021. Please check entry & exit information.

Kyrgyzstan – 3865 confirmed active cases of coronavirus. The peak was reached on July 19, 2020 (13201 active cases). Around 150 infections per day on average during the last few days (down from more than 1000 five months ago and down from 500-600 two to three months ago). The numbers are decreasing in the last few weeks and life has returned to normal. Entry restrictions have been lifted on December 4, 2020, for arrivals through international airports in Bishkek, Osh or Issyk-Kul. Most nationalities can enter Kyrgyzstan visa-free and others can get an electronic visa online. Please check entry & exit information.

Tajikistan – 407 confirmed active cases of coronavirus. The peak was reached on May 30, 2020 (1895 active cases). Around 30 new cases per day on average during the last few days. However, due to limited testing, the real number of infected people is likely higher. It is possible to enter the country by air from Dubai, but E-visas are not being issued at the moment. please check further entry & exit information.

Turkmenistan – No confirmed cases. All borders are closed at least until January 1, 2021. It is not known yet when borders will open again and regular flights will resume. Visas are not being processed currently. Please check entry & exit information.

Uzbekistan – 1582 confirmed active cases of coronavirus. The peak was reached on July 29, 2020 (9517 active cases). Less than 100 new infections per day on average during the last few days (decreasing). Borders with some countries have opened and flights resumed, but only for business/ family-related visits. Despite earlier opening announcements, tourists from most countries still cannot visit the country without 14 days of quarantine upon arrival. 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.