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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Azerbaijan - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Avoid non-essential travel to Azerbaijan due to political tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas due to political tensions. You can’t enter this area from Azerbaijan. Travelling to this region and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible to travel to Azerbaijan in the future. Canada’s ability to provide consular services in the area is extremely limited.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place and travel between cities or regions is controlled. You must wear a face covering in public spaces.
If you violate the restrictions, you could be fined for endangering public health.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
Nagorno–Karabakh and surrounding areas
Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan are high, due to a dispute over this territory. Despite a ceasefire agreed in May 1994, armed clashes occur regularly along the ceasefire line. The region is heavily mined and there are numerous unexploded ordnance.
In September 2020, a violent conflict occurred between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Military operations were carried out inside and outside of the zone of Nagorno–Karabakh and have caused important damage to the infrastructure. Thousands of casualties have been reported. A new ceasefire agreement was signed on November 9, 2020, and Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to the region for a 5-year period. Despite this agreement, the situation is volatile and future conflict cannot be ruled out.
Our ability to provide consular services in Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding areas and at the border with Armenia is extremely limited.
Learn about this region’s entry/exit requirements
Border with Armenia
Azerbaijan’s border with Armenia is a closed military zone because of unresolved disputes between the two countries.
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain high, and armed clashes along the border with Armenia may continue.
Landmines buried along the border have caused injuries and deaths.
The border with Armenia, including the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, is closed.
Crime is relatively low. Most reported crimes involve burglary, assault or petty crime, such as pickpocketing.
Thieves sometimes pose as police officers and demand that tourists pay on-the-spot fines. If faced with this situation, offer to follow the officer to the nearest police station to pay the fine.
- Avoid walking alone after dark
- Be careful in areas that attract large crowds and areas that are very isolated or dimly lit
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash
- Don’t display signs of affluence
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
If you’re travelling to Azerbaijan to meet someone you’ve only met online, you may be the victim of a scam.
More about overseas fraud
Spiked food and drinks
There have been incidents of drink spiking, resulting in victims being robbed.
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Demonstrations take place from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Police may use force to suppress demonstrations. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
On October 24, 2020, the Embassy of the United States in Azerbaijan issued the following security alert: “The U.S. Embassy in Baku has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Baku, including against hotels such as the J.W. Marriott Absheron, as well as potentially other locations in Baku. U.S. citizens are advised to exercise heightened caution in locations where Americans or foreigners may gather.”
Security Alert - Embassy of the United States in Azerbaijan
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings in public places.
Stay at hotels that have robust security measures. Keep in mind, however, that even the most secure locations can’t be considered completely free of risk.
Highways and major city roads are well-maintained, but driving can still be dangerous due to poor driving standards and poorly maintained cars. Many drivers do not pay attention to speed limit, traffic rules and traffic signs. Insufficient street lighting and signage make travel dangerous outside of Baku. The risk increases on certain roads that are shared with pedestrians and livestock.
Authorities don’t enforce traffic rules consistently.
Pedestrians should exercise caution.
Buses are poorly maintained, often overcrowded and unsafe, particularly outside of Baku. Baku Metro is reasonably maintained and has basic safety equipment. Expect to see security cameras throughout the platforms and a police presence at each metro station, particularly at night.
Only use officially marked taxis, which are metered, have seatbelts and are cheaper than unmarked taxis. Avoid shared taxis and unofficial taxis because passengers have been assaulted.
If you must travel by train, store personal belongings in a safe place and don’t leave your compartment unattended. Ensure the door is secured from the inside.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited outside of the Absheron Peninsula, Baku, Lankoran and Quba.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory. While some countries have started to ease some of these measures, most remain in place.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Azerbaijani authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Azerbaijan.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Azerbaijan.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
If you plan to visit Azerbaijan, you must have a visa before arriving in the country. As a tourist, you can apply for an e-visa through Azerbaijan’s online visa portal. You should do so at least 3 days before your planned arrival date.
E-visas are single entry and are valid for 30 days. If you require any other type of visa, you must apply for it from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan prior to departure.
To obtain any type of visa, you must present a letter of invitation from a contact in Azerbaijan, such as an employer or educational institution. If you don’t have a contact in Azerbaijan, the invitation letter should be submitted by the travel agency in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s online visa portal
You must register with the State Migration Service within 15 calendar days of arrival if you intend to stay more than 15 days. Ensure that your passport is stamped with a residency stamp.
Failure to register could result in a fine. You may be stopped from leaving Azerbaijan until the fine is paid.
If you intend to stay in Azerbaijan for more than 30 days, you must obtain a temporary residence card or apply to extend your visa.
State Migration Service
You may encounter long delays or be denied entry at the Azerbaijani border if your passport contains a stamp from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
It is illegal to enter Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan without permission from Azerbaijani authorities. Violations of entry and exit regulations to and from this area can result in serious penalties. Travelling to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible for future travel to Azerbaijan.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - January 16, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- There is a limited risk of malaria in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Azerbaijan Airlines
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Illegal or restricted activities
It is strictly forbidden to take pictures of military installations and equipment. Trespassing on military sites can lead to arrest. Visitors have been detained and questioned when attempting to photograph military bases, equipment and installations, all of which are considered sensitive.
Promoting religion and trying to convert others are not permitted.
Carry your passport at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place in case it’s lost or confiscated. If you are a resident, you must provide proof of residency status. Police checks in public areas are common. You could be fined if you fail to provide proper identification on request from an official.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences of 3 to 7 years and/or heavy fines.
Azerbaijani law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Azerbaijani society.
General information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Azerbaijan doesn’t legally recognize dual citizenship for adults (those 18 or older).
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Azerbaijan, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
A citizen of Azerbaijan who has adopted citizenship of a foreign country needs to provide written information to the relevant Azerbaijani executive authority within a month. If you are in Azerbaijan, refer to the State Migration Service. If you are outside of the country, then refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. Persons who do not report will be punished with fines ranging from 3000 to 5000 manats and/or community works from 360 to 480 hours, in accordance with the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
Canadians with Azerbaijani citizenship may be subject to national obligations, such as taxes and military service, and should check their status with the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Canada prior to travelling.
Military service is mandatory for male Azerbaijani citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. Those who have not completed their military service could face fines or arrest.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
You must carry an international driving permit.
More about the International Driving Permit
There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
Traffic stops are common. Always carry your licence, IDP, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
You must have the following documents in the car:
- vehicle registration document
- passport and driver’s licence
- proof of insurance
- first aid kit
- proof that the car is roadworthy (check-up card)
If you own a car, you must get an annual roadworthiness test done between January 1 and October 31. You will be given a check-up card each year after the inspection.
Imports and exports
Customs authorities strictly enforce regulations concerning the import or export of firearms, religious materials, pieces of art and antiquities.
You must declare foreign currency upon entry. You can’t leave the country with more than you brought in.
Dress and behaviour
Azerbaijan is a secular state, but some people closely adhere to Islamic practices and beliefs.
- Behave discreetly
- Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2021, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 12.
The currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani manat (AZN).
The economy is mostly cash-based. Credit cards are accepted at banks in Baku and in major hotels and restaurants. Few establishments accept credit cards outside of Baku. Several ATMs in major cities dispense both U.S. dollars and Azerbaijani manat.
Natural disasters and climate
Azerbaijan is in an active seismic zone.
Heavy rains may trigger floods and landslides, but there are also periods of drought.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 102
- medical assistance: 103
- firefighters: 101
The Police Office of Crimes By and Against Foreigners offers service in English. You can reach the office at +944 12 590 9966.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Azerbaijan.You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada in Ankara, Turkey.
Ankara - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Ankara and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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