International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

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Kyrgyzstan Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Kyrgyzstan - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Kyrgyzstan due to the possibility of violent crime.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

South of Kyrgyzstan including Jalal-Abad, Batken, Osh Oblasts and borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan

The threat of terrorist attacks can’t be ruled out. The southern regions are prone to smuggling activities due to ill-defined and porous borders, making the security situation volatile and dangerous in the south of the country and along the borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Border crossings

Temporary movement restrictions have been imposed through the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Uzbekistan

Uzbek authorities may restrict access to border crossings with Kyrgyzstan without warning.

You should confirm with local authorities if border posts are open for travel before heading to Uzbekistan.

Tajikistan

The passage of goods and vehicles to and from Tajikistan is restricted at certain border checkpoints located at the Kyrgyz-Tajik border until further notice.

You may face difficulties if you choose to cross the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

Order of the Cabinet of Ministers – Ministry of Justice of Kyrgyzstan

Land mines

There are landmines at borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, especially in uncontrolled border areas.

Use officially recognized border crossings only.

Crime

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as mugging, pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs frequently.

Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Violent crime

Violent crime is also common. Criminals, including organized gangs, target both locals and foreigners.

Target locations may include:

  • bars
  • parks
  • areas near major hotels
  • public transportation
  • currency exchange booths
  • shopping centres and markets

The police response is limited.

To minimize the risk of becoming a victim of crime:

  • don’t walk or travel alone, especially at night
  • don’t show signs of affluence
  • avoid carrying large sums of money

Common criminal strategies

Fraudulent police officers

Thieves posing as police officers have approached foreign travellers and ask them to pay alleged fines.

If you face with this situation, offer to follow the officer to the nearest police station to pay the alleged fine.

Fraudulent airport facilitators

Fraudulent “meet and greet” airport facilitators have lured travellers into cars and requested money.

  • Make prior travel arrangements with your contacts
  • Ask for identification upon arrival
  • Don’t leave the airport with anyone who doesn’t show you their identification

Entertainment venues

Thieves may also target foreign travellers in tourist entertainment locations such as bars, nightclubs and other drinking establishments.

One or more individuals may propose to go to your hotel room or apartment. The individual will then try to provide access to your accommodation to its accomplices. You could be the victim of robbery, physical assault, and blackmailing.

Foreign travellers on foot, travelling alone or in small groups at night have been followed and robbed.

  • Avoid walking or travelling alone, especially at night
  • Always use a reputable taxi service in advance before leaving popular restaurants and places of recreation

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave your 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.

Fraud

Credit card, Internet and ATM fraud is common.

  • 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

More about overseas fraud

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. 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)

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, military installations and 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 when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:

  • sporting events
  • religious holidays
  • public celebrations
  • major political events, such as elections

Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.

Road safety

Roads conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Drivers don’t respect traffic laws. Accidents causing fatalities are common.

Roads are poorly maintained and inadequately lit.

Roads from Bishkek to Tashkent are hazardous during winter. The road between Almaty and Bishkek is difficult because of the many checkpoints set up between both cities.

Gas stations outside Bishkek and Osh are scarce.

  • Make sure you’re well prepared
  • Plan for sufficient supply of gasoline, water and food
  • Always carry a cell phone and chargers
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers with you

Public transportation

Public transportation is unsafe due to poor maintenance and reckless driving practices.

Avoid using public transportation.

Taxi

Use only officially marked taxis with meters or a trusted ride-sharing app. Avoid shared taxis and street taxis.

  • Ask the driver to use the meter or pre-negotiate the fare
  • Dont share a ride with strangers 

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

Useful links

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 Kyrgyz authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

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 Kyrgyzstan.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: Not required (for stays up to 60 days)
Business visa: Not required (for stays up to 60 days)
Student visa: Not required (for stays up to 60 days)

Long stays

If you intend to stay in Kyrgyzstan for longer than 60 days, you must obtain an E-Visa before your arrival in the country.

Once in the country, you must also register with the State Registration Service Passport Desk within 5 business days following your arrival. You will need to show this proof of registration to leave the country.

If you fail to do so, local authorities will prevent you from leaving until you pay the associated fine.

Regional travel

You must obtain a special permission from Chinese authorities if you are travelling onward to China from Kyrgyzstan.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

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.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.

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.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* 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.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Hepatitis A

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.

Tick-borne encephalitis

Risk

Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country. 

It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.

Recommendation

Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.

A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.

Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?

Rabies

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).

Hepatitis B

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.

Influenza

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.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.

Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

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 Central Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea

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

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 of 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 Central Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, malaria, and tick-borne encephalitis.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Asia, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Person-to-Person Infections

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

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:

Health care is limited in availability. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country and may not be up to Canadian standards, especially in rural areas.

Clinics and hospitals may have limited access to supplies, medication or medical equipment.

The cost of medical services can be significantly higher for foreign travellers. If you don’t speak Kyrgyz or Russian, you should seek assistance from an interpreter to deal with clinic or hospital staff.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of a serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

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.

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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

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Photography

Photographing military installations or government buildings may result in a penalty.

Seek permission from local authorities before taking such photographs.

Identification

Police officers regularly carry out identification checks. You might be detained if you’re stopped and can’t present ID.

You should keep:

  • a legally certified copy of your visa, registration and passport with you at all times
  • your passport and visa in safekeeping facilities
  • digital copies of all your travel documents

Dress and behaviour

Although Kyrgyzstan is officially a secular country, locals closely adhere to Islamic practices and beliefs, particularly in rural areas.

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions

LGBTQ2 travellers

Kyrgyz law doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.

However, LGBTQ2 travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Kyrgyzstan doesn’t legally recognize dual citizenship.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Kyrgyzstan.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Kyrgyzstan by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Kyrgyzstan to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You should carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

The currency of Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyzstani som (KGS).

The economy is primarily cash-based. ATMs are limited in rural areas.

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Natural disasters and climate

Kyrgyzstan is in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes occur.

Useful links:

Avalanches and landslides

Avalanches and landslides are common in mountainous areas, particularly in the spring.

They can be hazardous and block road access.

  • Monitor local media and weather forecasts
  • Follow the advice of local authorities

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance or:

  • 101 in case of fire
  • 103 for medical emergencies
  • 102 for police

Consular assistance

Bishkek - Consulate of Canada
Street Address299/5 Chingiz Aitmatov St., Bishkek, 720016, Kyrgyz RepublicTelephone(996 706) 58 47 46Emailbishkek@international.gc.caServicesPassport Services Available
Nur-Sultan - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressKabanbay, Batyr Street 13/1, Nur-Sultan, Z05H0A5, KazakhstanTelephone7 (7172) 475 577Fax7 (7172) 475 587Emailastnacs2@international.gc.caInternetwww.kazakhstan.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to KazakhstanTwitter@CanEmbKZConsular district

Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, in Nur-Sultan, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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