- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:
In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:
Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.
If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:
Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).
The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020
We advise you to only use officially-recognised border crossings and to only travel in the border areas if absolutely necessary.
There is currently a Measles outbreak in Kyrgyzstan. The World Health Organisation recommends that travellers get vaccinated against measles at least 15 days prior to travel.
WHO advice for international travel in relation to measles can be found here.
Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Kyrgyzstan, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Moscow.
We suggest you learn as much as you can about Kyrgyzstan before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Kyrgyzstan, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
Kyrgyz local emergency service telephone numbers are:
101 for fire
102 for police
103 for ambulance
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for safe travels
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
- Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
There are continuing political and ethnic tensions in Kyrgyzstan and demonstrations can occur from time. You should avoid all demonstrations or large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent.
Security has been increased in border areas. We advise you to only use officially-recognised border crossings and to only travel in the border areas if absolutely necessary.
Be extremely cautious if you’re travelling overland from Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. These borders are subject to closure without notice so always check in advance which officially recognised border crossings are open. There’s also a risk that uncontrolled Kyrgyz-Uzbek border areas may be land-mined.
Tensions exist over recognition of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek borders and a number of gunfire exchanges have been reported, most recently from the Jalal-Abad Oblast.
Keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
You should be aware of the continuing threat from terrorism, which Kyrgyzstan shares with other countries in Central Asia. There’s a history of terrorist activity and armed violence, particularly south and west of Osh, where there have been several terrorist attacks and hostage-takings in the past.
There is a risk that uncontrolled Kyrgyz-Uzbek border areas may be land-mined.
Mugging and theft regularly occur in both city and rural areas and foreigners are a particular target. You should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- During your stay you should carry a notarised photocopy of your passport at all times.
- Be wary of any strangers offering assistance or being over-friendly
- There have been reports of thefts committed by uniformed police officers and gangs
Avoid travelling in unofficial taxis, particularly at night and alone, or if there’s another passenger already in the car. We don’t encourage the hiring of private hackney cabs instead of licensed taxicabs in Kyrgyzstan. In addition, taxis aren’t always metered and you should negotiate the fare in advance of entering the taxi.
Lost or stolen passports
If you lose your passport you must report this immediately to the police and get confirmation of the loss in writing. This report will be necessary when applying for an emergency passport from the Irish Embassy in Moscow.
The Embassy is able to accept applications for new passports, which may take between four and six weeks to be processed in Dublin, but is not able to issue new full passports in Moscow.
Passenger lists on aircraft aren’t always kept confidential. There have been cases of people being met by name from an aircraft and subsequently robbed. If you’re arriving at Manas International Airport, arrange your onward transportation from the airport in advance.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Kyrgyzstan, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Moscow if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Kyrgyzstan, you should be extremely careful. Many cars aren’t safe and the roads are poorly maintained with roadworks or damaged roads often not clearly signposted. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, however little consumed, is regarded as a serious offence in Kyrgyzstan
- Use main roads when travelling in or around Bishkek and avoid large crowds
- Service stations and petrol/water access can be limited outside the cities of Bishkek and Osh. Make sure you take all you need for your journey
- Avoid driving at night
- Be aware that roads outside the capital are often blocked by snow during the winter months and avalanches and landslides frequently block roads in the spring
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
It’s not known whether maintenance procedures on aircraft used on internal flights are always properly observed or whether passengers are covered by insurance. If possible, we advise you to fly directly to your destination on an international flight originating outside Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and avoid in-country and regional travel using domestic carriers. If you intend to travel to and from Kyrgyzstan, avoid flying on airlines listed under the EU operating ban.
We advise against using local buses and/or mini-buses as vehicles often lack seatbelts and are not well maintained. Theft on board is also a risk.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Always carry your passports or notarised copies. The police can arrest those found without a form of identification.
Under Kyrgyz law, anyone claiming to be a police officer must present their credentials on demand. Don’t get into cars with anyone you don’t know, even if the person seems to be a police officer.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Taking photos of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with the authorities.
Homosexuality was legalised in 1998. However, homosexuality is not often discussed or recognised publicly. Care and discretion should be exercised at all times.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan if they’re travelling in the country for up to 60 days.
It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a notarised photocopy of your passport at all times. You should ensure that you have entered your next of kin details into the back of your passport.
If you have questions about the entry requirements for Kyrgyzstan, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Kyrgyzstan, which is in London. You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Kyrgyzstan.
Tuberculosis is widespread throughout the country and there are regular outbreaks of Hepatitis A, meningitis and brucellosis. Cases of AIDS and malaria have also been registered.
Medical facilities are not as developed as those in Ireland. Medication easily available in Ireland may not be as easily available in Kyrgystan or may be restricted.
Kyrgyzstan is a cash-only economy. Very few places accept credit cards and travellers’ cheques. There are only a handful of ATM machines, and none in rural areas.
You should only change money at officially authorised currency exchanges. US dollars are the most widely accepted foreign currency; others may be difficult to exchange.
We do not have an Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, please contact Embassy of Ireland Russia.
The Embassy operates an out-of-hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance. If you are in need of emergency assistance, please ring the Embassy Duty Officer at +7 985 928 7615
Embassy of Ireland to the Russian Federation
Grokholski Perulok 5
Monday to Friday 09:30 - 13:00 and 14:30 - 17:30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.