COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Kyrgyzstan travel advice

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.

Borders with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the areas within 30 km of the borders with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan due to security concerns.

 

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Safety and security

Border areas

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

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.

Uzbekistan

Land disputes and tensions between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have occurred since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, in early 2023, Uzbek and Kyrgyz authorities announced that they finally reached an agreement on the delimitation of their shared borders.

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

Tensions and occasional clashes due to territorial disputes have occurred on the border between the Sughd region of Tajikistan and the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, including near the Vorukh enclave. Conflicts have resulted in numerous casualties, including civilians.

In September 2022, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed a ceasefire agreement, but the situation remains unpredictable and could deteriorate without notice.

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

Order of the Cabinet of Ministers  – Ministry of Justice of Kyrgyzstan (in Kyrgyz and Russian only)

Landmines

Marked and unmarked minefields may be present in areas bordering the following countries, especially in uncontrolled areas:

  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan

If you are traveling in any of these areas despite the advisory in effect:

  • stay on main roads and paved surfaces
  • avoid roadside ditches, shoulders and unmarked trails
  • cross only at official border crossings
  • strictly observe warning signs indicating the possible presence of landmines

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

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

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.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

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.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

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

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations 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 may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

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

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

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)

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

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.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. 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.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

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.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

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.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

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

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.

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

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

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

However, 2SLGBTQI+ 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

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Kyrgyzstan.

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.

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.

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 - Honorary consul of Canada
Street Address299/5 Chingiz Aitmatov St., Bishkek, 720016, Kyrgyz RepublicTelephone(996 706) 58 47 46Emailbishkek@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-KyrgyzstanServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and TajikistanTwitterCanada in KazakhstanOther social mediaKazakhstan Canada
Astana - Embassy of Canada
Street Address13/1 Kabanbay Batyr avenue, Astana, Kazakhstan, Z05H0A5Telephone+7 (7172) 47 55 77 / 78 / 79 / 80Fax7 (7172) 475 587Emailastna-consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-KazakhstanServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to KazakhstanTwitterCanada in KazakhstanOther social mediaKazakhstan Canada
Consular 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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