How dangerous is Kyrgyzstan

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Current

Border conflict with Tajikistan

On April 28 and 29, 2021, armed clashes between Kyrgyz and Tajik security forces resulted in deaths and injuries in the southern Batken region.

  • Avoid the Kyrgyz-Tajik border region as well as crowds and demonstrations for a long time.

Covid-19

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and negative effects on public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Kyrgyzstan will continue warned.

Epidemiological situation

Kyrgyzstan is severely affected by COVID-19. Regional focal points are the capital Bishkek and the north-eastern regions.
Kyrgyzstan is still classified as a risk area.
The Kyrgyz Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.

entry

A negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) must be presented upon entry. If the PCR test is older than 72 hours on arrival, e.g. because the flight has been delayed or postponed, the test must be carried out again on arrival.

When entering the country by land, a negative PCR test (not older than 120 hours) must be presented. Temperature measurements are made. If the test is older than 120 hours due to travel delays, a test must be carried out at the destination.

People without a PCR test or with pronounced symptoms of the disease are not allowed to enter the country.

Foreigners can currently also leave the country with or without an expired visa.

Transit and onward travel

The inner Kyrgyz air traffic is taking place again with restrictions. Travel by land is possible without restrictions. Upon departure, a negative PCR test must be presented, depending on the regulations of the destination country.

Travel connections

International air traffic to and from Kyrgyzstan was resumed; there are daily flights to Istanbul, Moscow and Dubai. Cross-border rail traffic, however, is still very limited.

Restrictions in the country

No particular restrictions are currently known.

Hygiene rules

At entrances to markets, shopping centers and official buildings, hand disinfection, keeping your distance and wearing mouth and nose protection are requested.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities.
  • Before you travel, check your airline's conditions of carriage.
  • Before entering the country by land, check the entry or exit. Transit regulations of the neighboring country concerned.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

security

terrorism

In the south of the country in particular, there are Islamist groups with a potentially terrorist orientation. Attacks on Western facilities cannot be ruled out. At the end of August 2016, the Chinese embassy in Bishkek was the target of a suicide bombing.

Domestic situation

After the parliamentary elections in early October 2020, protests in the capital Bishkek and other larger cities led to clashes by demonstrators and security forces with numerous injured. Violent clashes, for example in the context of demonstrations in connection with internal political developments in Kyrgyzstan, cannot be ruled out across the country.

Violent clashes between Tajik and Kyrgyz security forces are currently increasing on the border with Tajikistan, which also resulted in deaths. Further disputes cannot be ruled out.

  • Be especially careful when traveling within Kyrgyzstan and especially in the border regions.
  • Avoid driving into the border region with Tajikistan.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
  • Find out about the security situation on a regular basis.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

Violent and gang crime with robbery and pickpockets also target foreigners in highly frequented locations. In the past, raids have occasionally occurred in the capital Bishkek, which is sometimes poorly lit in the dark. As a result of the economic and social effects of COVID-19, crime is currently increasing, especially in the capital, but is still at a comparatively low level. A few criminals have presented themselves as police officers in uniform or in civilian clothes. Occasional sexual offenses were reported particularly from remote areas.

  • It is better to take a taxi when it is dark. In view of general crime, caution is advised, especially in places that are difficult to see, such as pedestrian underpasses and in the dark.
  • Be particularly vigilant in places that are typically highly frequented by foreigners, e.g. near hotels, restaurants, bars and due to bag theft and trickery in the numerous bazaars.
  • Refrain from resisting attacks, as the violence threshold can be low.
  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Take only the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, (bus) train stations and on public transport and watch out for your valuables.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

Kyrgyzstan lies in a seismically active zone, which is why earthquakes can occur.

The climate is dry and continental with hot summers and cold winters. There are significant daily temperature fluctuations.

  • Always observe prohibitions, signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
  • Familiarize yourself with earthquake behaviors. These are provided by the fact sheets of the German Research Center for Geosciences.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

Air traffic does not meet European safety standards. All Kyrgyz air carriers are on the EU list of unsafe airlines.

Overland journeys at night are difficult and dangerous because of the sometimes very poor roads, landslides, the often unsafe technical condition of the vehicles involved in traffic and the changeable climate (cold spells). The poor road conditions nationwide and the driving style that deviates from Western European traffic habits mean a generally increased risk of accidents in road traffic. This also applies to the busy Bishkek-Almaty route.

Taxis are cheap in Bishkek and can be ordered by phone.

In the event of accidents (including those that are not at fault), it must be expected that the driver will be held liable under criminal and civil law. Foreign nationals may have to wait for the outcome of a legal process before leaving the country.

  • Avoid driving overland after dark.
  • If possible, avoid self-driving within Kyrgyzstan.

Driver's license

For Kyrgyzstan, the Convention on Road Traffic of November 8th, 1968 applies, according to which driving licenses from other contracting states are recognized as international driving licenses. In practice, especially during police checks, a translation into Russian or Kyrgyz with a notarized signature is required. The translation can be done by any translation agency, after which the translator's signature must be notarized. There are numerous translation agencies and notaries' offices in downtown Bishkek.

The international driving license is always valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.

Hikes and trekking tours

There are no organized mountain rescue services in Kyrgyzstan. Wild camping harbors numerous dangers, especially when communication in Kyrgyz or Russian is not possible.

  • Go on hiking tours in unknown terrain only with a local guide.
  • Refrain from “wild camping” without a tour operator who is familiar with the area.
  • For security reasons, use someone who is familiar with the language and the location when you visit remote areas.

Border areas

In the border areas (with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and China) special rules apply (e.g. ban on photography). These areas can also be mined. The border line is not clearly signposted in many places. In the case of border crossings away from official border control points, there is a risk of longer prison sentences.
Border crossings can be closed ad hoc. Reliable information cannot be given in this regard, as the border openings or closings are announced without notice.
The Karamyk border crossing into Tajikistan is not an international border crossing. In the past, German nationals were often denied access to the border there.

  • Do not travel to the border regions without a local guide.

Special instructions on behavior

The Kyrgyz police have the right to check your passport and visa and to detain travelers without a valid passport.
The police do not have the right to examine the contents of your bags or even to scan you during normal identity checks. In the past, tourists were occasionally coerced into doing this under the pretext of drug control and confronted with demands for “fee payments”.

  • Always have your passport with you.
  • Be cooperative when it comes to identity checks and keep calm.
  • In general, appear polite but self-confident towards state representatives and, if necessary, point out your rights.
  • In an emergency, contact the German embassy in Bishkek.

LGBTIQ

Discrimination on the basis of gender preferences is prohibited; Homosexuality is not a criminal offense, but socially frowned upon. In the Kyrgyz constitution, marriage is explicitly defined as a union between a man and a woman. A bill against the “propagation of non-traditional ways of life” has been pending in parliament for a long time. The participation of individual LGBTQ representatives in a march for women's rights in March 2019 led to violent hostility and a resurgence of the discussion about this bill.

Legal specifics

Photographing airfields, military and strategically important facilities as well as in border areas is prohibited.

Drug offenses are severely punished for even minor violations, usually with prison terms of between five and 20 years.

Drivers who have been involved in an accident resulting in injuries or death are not allowed to leave the country for the duration of the investigation or a court hearing until the question of guilt has been clarified.

Money / credit cards

The national currency is the Som (KGS). Credit cards are rarely accepted, but cash machines in Bishkek can be used for easy cash withdrawals.

The exchange of cash for euros or US dollars is easily possible in the larger cities. If possible, you should only bring newer banknotes in perfect condition, as banknotes with small cracks or wrinkled / soiled banknotes are often not exchanged. Small banknotes (5, 10 and 20 euros) are often only exchanged at a slightly lower rate.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for three months after the planned departure or the validity of the visa and should be undamaged. Missing or torn pages in the passport lead to entry refusal.

Persons against whom a search alert exists in a CIS state must expect rejection when entering the Kyrgyz Republic.

visa

German citizens do not need a visa for stays of up to 60 days, regardless of the purpose of the trip.
For stays of more than 60 days, a visa is required, which must be obtained in advance from the relevant Kyrgyz diplomatic mission.
Alternatively, an eVisa can be applied for online for stays of up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes.

Registration

German citizens who stay in Kyrgyzstan for more than 60 days must register with the competent authority within 5 days of entering the country. The State Registration Service is responsible.
According to current knowledge, the registration obligation also applies to holders of e-Visa.

Minors

Minors traveling alone should have a declaration of consent from their parents in Russian or Kyrgyz language.

Import regulations

The import and export of foreign currencies are not subject to any restrictions, but must be declared for a value of USD 10,000 or more per person.

Items for personal use including 1000 cigarettes or 1000 grams of tobacco as well as 1.5 liters of alcohol and 2 liters of wine can be imported duty-free. Valuable items should be declared upon entry. Unpackaged food may not be imported.

Baggage must be returned in full.

Entry by car

When importing motor vehicles and motorcycles, travelers who travel through several countries with their own motor vehicle, e.g. via Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and from there via Poland back to Germany, should ensure that when entering the Eurasian Economic Union on the Kyrgyz border issued a temporary import permit for the vehicle covering the travel time required for the route. The issue of an import permit is generally possible with a sufficiently long period of validity. Without a permit, considerable problems and penalties can be expected when leaving the Eurasian Economic Union.

Pets

Dogs, cats and ferrets require a vaccination certificate with proof of a veterinary examination within the last 5 days before entry.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

measles

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

Vaccination protection

No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany.

  • Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
  • Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies and TBE.
  • Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
  • The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.

malaria

Since November 2016, the whole country has been officially declared malaria-free by the WHO. Previously there were isolated detected infections with Plasmodium vivax.

HIV / AIDS

The prevalence of HIV in the population has so far been low (prevalence <0.1%). The main risk groups include intravenous drug users and prostitutes.

tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a relevant health problem in Kyrgyzstan. Over 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants are still recorded each year. The resistance rate of the tubercle pathogen to the usual tuberculosis drugs is relatively high.

Early summer meningoencephalitis TBE or RSSE, Russian Spring Summer Encephalitis

This tick-borne viral meningitis is extremely rare in the country, but the data are sparse.

Brucellosis

Brucellosis diseases are recorded again and again, especially in rural areas. This bacterial, febrile illness can be transmitted through contact with sick animals (sheep, goats, cattle) or consumption of undercooked animal products. We strongly advise against consuming raw dairy products.

Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

This highly febrile virus infection occurs sporadically in Kyrgyzstan. Every year from April to October there are individual, small outbreaks in rural regions, some of which are fatal. The virus is transmitted by ticks from farm animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and camels as well as via the blood of infected animals and humans. Protection from ticks and distance from animals is recommended.

Anthrax (anthrax)

Every year there are individual, small outbreaks of this bacterial infection in rural regions, most of which are caused by sick cattle. There is only a risk of infection in the event of contact with cattle or handling of their products (fur, raw milk or meat products).

Geographical diseases

Altitude sickness can develop when climbing to altitudes above 3,000 meters. Slow ascent and immediate descent in the event of symptoms (e.g. headache, shortness of breath) must be observed urgently, see information sheet on altitude sickness.

  • Before you travel to high altitudes (over 2,300 m), seek individual advice from a doctor who is experienced in altitude medicine before finalizing your travel plans. Travel health insurance that covers the mountain risk (e.g. a helicopter evacuation) is strongly recommended.

Intense sunlight, glare from snow and ice, strong winds, extreme cold and impassable or unfamiliar terrain harbor additional risks for travelers at high altitudes. Earthquakes or prolonged precipitation can lead to avalanches, mudslides and slides off entire mountain slopes in endangered areas.

Medical supplies

Medical care in Kyrgyzstan does not correspond to European standards.
A rescue system comparable to Germany (e.g. by helicopter) with intensive medical treatment options does not exist. Even in the capital, emergencies can usually only be treated inadequately.
Medical evacuation must be considered in the event of serious illness or injury.

  • Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance - Abroad provides detailed information.
  • Take your individual first-aid kit with you and protect it against high temperatures when you are out and about, see the first-aid kit leaflet.
  • Before you go on a trip, seek personal advice from tropical medicine advice centers, tropical doctors or travel doctors and adjust your vaccination protection, even if you have already experienced the tropics from other regions. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. via the DTG.

In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:

  • All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
  • The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site. For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
  • All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
  • In spite of the best possible efforts, the medical information is always just a consultation offer. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Country information about your travel destination

Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.

More

Further information for your trip

The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged.

Since September 2014, the terrorist organizations “Al Qaeda” and “Islamic State” (IS) have been threatened with attacks against various countries and their nationals. There were a number of attacks with firearms, explosives, kidnappings and hostage-taking.

Even if there are currently no specific indications of a threat to German interests abroad, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals or German institutions abroad will also become targets of acts of terrorist violence.

Places with a symbolic character come into question as possible targets. These include well-known sights, government and administrative buildings, transport infrastructure (especially airplanes, trains, ships, buses), economic and tourism centers, hotels, markets, religious meeting places and generally larger gatherings of people.

The level of terrorist threat differs from country to country. There is a particular risk of an attack in countries and regions in which attacks have already been carried out repeatedly or can be carried out relatively easily due to a lack of effective security measures, or in which terrorists have the support of the local population.

More detailed information about the terrorist threat can be found in the country-specific travel and safety information. These are checked regularly and adjusted if necessary.

The risk of falling victim to an attack is still comparatively low compared to other risks that travel abroad entails, such as accidents, illness or ordinary crime. Nevertheless, travelers should be aware of the risk.

The Federal Foreign Office strongly recommends that all travelers behave in a safety-conscious and appropriate manner. Before and during a trip, travelers should carefully inform themselves about the conditions in their country of travel, behave appropriately, follow the local media and report suspicious incidents (e.g. unattended baggage in airports or train stations, suspicious behavior by people) to the local police or security authorities .

German nationals are recommended to register in the Foreign Office's "Elefand" crisis prevention list, regardless of their country or the length of their stay abroad:
Crisis preparedness list

Please clarify with your health insurance company whether there is adequate health insurance coverage for your trip abroad, which also covers the costs of a rescue flight to Germany.